Allister named league’s top softball coach |

Allister named league’s top softball coach

Jeremy Evans

When does a 4-17 league record reflect a successful season? When those four wins are the most a team has recorded in about a decade.

The South Tahoe Vikings’ softball team took baby steps in turning its program around this season, and leading the stroll was first-year coach Joann Allister. Her efforts were not lost on opposing coaches as Allister was named the Sierra League’s coach of the year.

“It was a surprise because I actually thought the Reno coach deserved it,” Allister said. “His team ran the table and was undefeated. I felt he was most deserving, but I appreciate the honor.”

Allister was one of numerous Vikings this spring who were honored in the all-league voting. Junior outfielder Danielle Lowe, senior pitcher Mollie Novasel, freshman outfielder Brittany Barcellos and sophomore utility player Kelly Bartlett were all named to the softball’s second team following a 5-18 season.

Novasel’s win on the mound against North Valleys on April 28 was the program’s first nonforfeit win since at least 2003, when Novasel was a freshman. The senior hurler was also a second-team all-league pick as a junior.

“I am thrilled to get so many kids honored,” Allister said. “The kids worked hard. My outfield did a tremendous job. Danielle and Brittany both had on-base percentages of over .700.”

South Tahoe junior Stephen Yarrow was the lone Viking to be represented on the all-league baseball teams. After leading the league in batting average (.527) and triples (four), the shortstop was an easy selection for the first team.

Yarrow also was third in the Northern 4A in home runs (five) and made only six errors in 91 attempts for a .934 fielding percentage. With continued progress, second-year STHS baseball coach Matt Tillson feels Yarrow could have a special senior season.

“He definitely has all the potential in the world and he’s worked very hard to get where he’s at,” said Tillson, who mentioned Yarrow is already receiving recruiting interest from several colleges. “I have nothing to worry about with him. He puts in the time and effort.

“I was kind of surprised to get five kids in the all-league voting because we only won five games. But the difference is last year the other coaches just allowed me to pick the two players I wanted. This year, all the coaches knew who my kids were and also voted for them.”

Zach Kropf, Bo Hallam, Kevin Yelles and Buck Pershing were all honorable mention selections for South Tahoe, which finished 9-20 overall and 5-16 in league. Juniors Shaylene McLaughlin and Janell Contaxis were both honorable mention selections in softball.

All-league correction

It was errenously reported in Tuesday’s sports section that Whittell baseball player Carter Amaral was a second-team selection on the Northern 2A all-star team. Amaral was actually a first-team selection along with teammates Jeff Young and Brian Peat.

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