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Braves stockpile all-star hardware

Banks is rewarded with eight all-league selections and seven all-state nominees

On the heels of another dominant softball season, Banks was rewarded with a slew of All-State and All-Cowapa League selections.

Seniors Marla Gooding and Melissa Masters were named Class 4A State Co-Players of the Year following the conclusion of the playoffs on Saturday, and they were joined by teammates Kaylin Vandomelen and Riley Gerlinger on the All-State First Team.

Natalie Larsen and Hannah Vandomelen were Second Team All-State selections, and Aubrey Rue was an honorable mention pick at catcher.

The Lady Braves predictably dominated the All-Cowapa League selections after storming to a fourth straight league title. Seven Banks players were named to the All-League First Team, and a grand total of eight players were honored by the league's coaches.

Gooding was named Cowapa League Player of the Year after a sensational senior campaign in which she batted .462 with 16 doubles, a home run and 21 RBIs. She also went 7-1 in the pitcher's circle, striking out 79 batters in 57 innings of work while posting a 0.61 ERA.

She was joined on the All-League First Team by Masters, who also had an outstanding year both at the plate and in the circle. Masters batted .440 this season with 11 doubles, a team-high three home runs and 22 RBIs, and she also led the team with seven stolen bases.

Masters was also the team's primary pitcher, going 12-1 with 101 strikeouts in 85 innings pitched, allowing only one earned run all season to post a microscopic 0.08 ERA. She pitched the Braves to a victory against Mazama in the Class 4A state semifinals, and she threw a five-hit shutout on Saturday against Cascade in the state championship game.

Vandomelen was the third member of the Lady Braves' three-headed pitching rotation, going 6-2 this season with a 0.73 ERA while striking out 82 batters in 48 innings of work.

At the plate, the junior centerfielder was a nightmare for opposing pitchers, batting .509 and leading the team in virtually every offensive category, including runs scored (43), hits (54), doubles (18) and triples (4). She drove in 20 runs during the season and was also a perfect 6-for-6 in stolen base attempts.

Gerlinger, a junior second baseman, was also a First Team All-State and All-League selection after batting .354 with 16 runs scored and 10 RBIs. As one of the Braves' most active defensive players, Gerlinger made only three errors all year to finish with a .962 fielding percentage.

Hannah Vandomelen and Larsen were both named to the All-League First Team and All-State Second Team.

Larsen, a senior outfielder, batted .365 this year with seven doubles and 16 RBIs. She did not make an error all season and finished 4-for-4 on stolen base attempts.

Hannah Vandomelen broke into the starting lineup as a freshman and played in the outfield and at first base. She batted .360 with five doubles and stole five bases in five attempts.

Rue landed on the All-League First Team and was also an honorable mention All-State selection as a catcher. She batted .250 this season with 11 RBIs, but came through with several clutch hits in the postseason, including the game-winning two-run single against McLoughlin in the first round of the state playoffs.

Madison Soper was the final Banks player to earn postseason hardware, getting an honorable mention All-League nod for an excellent junior season. The third baseman batted .333 with six extra-base hits and 17 RBIs while posting a .968 fielding percentage.



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