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Four Lady Braves earn all-state softball honors

Banks is rewarded for another stellar season with the selection of four players to the all-state squad

Over the last two seasons, Banks' prolific offense has been sparked in large part by the four players at the top of the lineup, and earlier this month that core group was honored with selection to the Class 4A All-State softball team.

Starting at the top of the order, sophomore Kaylin Vandomelen batted about .450 in Cowapa League play, according to Banks head coach Jenny Compton, followed by juniors Marla Gooding (.620), Melissa Masters (.550) and Natalie Larsen (.380).

Those staggering offensive numbers earned all four players all-state honors and capped another remarkable season for the Lady Braves.

'Everybody had their moments here and there, but these girls were probably the most consistent - they led by example,' Compton said. 'All four of them were very excited and very gracious when I told them about the all-state awards, so it makes you feel good to see them get a little extra acknowledgement.'

Vandomelen, who earned Class 4A State Player of the Year honors last season as a freshman, was the Lady Braves' table-setter at the top of the lineup in 2011, getting on base in more than half of her plate appearances while splitting time between the outfield and the pitcher's circle.

Gooding and Masters - who were both all-state selections last season as well - were the other members of Banks' three-headed pitching rotation in 2011, moving from the mound to shortstop to the outfield, giving Compton all kinds of defensive flexibility.

'It was a really good rotation and the girls were comfortable with it,' Compton said. 'It's rare at the high school level to have that many pitchers sharing time on the same team, so it says a lot about them that they co-existed and worked really well together.'

Larsen missed the first few games of the season on a family trip, but returned and settled into the cleanup spot, where she helped spark the Banks offense for the second year in a row.

'They're all great players,' Compton said. 'When your first four hitters are getting on base about half the time, that's a nice luxury to have. I'm really proud of the season and what we accomplished.'

Masters and Vandomelen were both First Team All-State selections as outfielders, while Gooding landed in the utility spot. Larsen earned honorable mention All-State honors as an outfielder.