Clayton sweeps conference, state player of the year awards
Glencoe senior Courtney Clayton is picked as the best 6A softball player in the state
For Courtney Clayton, the release of the all-Pacific Conference and Class 6A all-state softball teams must have felt like 2013 all over again.
Glencoes outstanding just-graduated shortstop, Clayton capped her high school career in recent weeks by being named both the league and state player of the year for the second consecutive season. She led a list of 15 Hillsboro-area players who were named to the all-league team.
Posting statistics that were nearly identical to those of her junior season, the UTEP-bound Clayton batted .524 with 55 hits, including 21 for extra bases, plus 35 runs scored and 41 RBIs. Her hits, RBIs and batting average were all team highs, and impressively, she struck out just four times all season, a low among regular Tide batters.
First baseman Maria Dendinger joined Clayton as a first team all-league pick, and she was also selected to the all-state team, where she landed on the second team. Dendinger, who will play college ball at North Dakota, supplied 31 hits, including five home runs, tying Clayton for the team lead in that category. She also recorded 32 runs scored and 27 RBIs while hitting .360.
Macy Besuyen was voted to the all-league second team as an outfielder. The dynamite sophomore leadoff hitter scored a team-high 37 runs, and she also batted .330 and put up 38 hits and 17 RBIs.
Glencoe also had honorable mention representation in seniors Kylie Surratt and Hannah Rossman, and in sophomores Kamryn Apling, Tatum Becker, Abbi Bushong.
Surratt, a third baseman, batted .302 and recorded 29 hits, 28 runs and 22 RBIs. Rossman was a defensive fixture in the outfield, and she also had seven hits, five RBIs and nine runs in 40 at-bats.
Apling was solid in her second season as the Crimson Tides catcher. She posted a .348 batting average and put up 31 hits, 29 runs and 17 RBIs.
Becker and Groshong were both called on to step up in the pitchers circle in their first full varsity seasons. Bushong appeared in 26 games and posted a 9-0 record. She yielded 80 hits, 31 runs (27 earned) and 17 walks while striking out 63, and she had a 2.61 earned run average. Becker went 7-3 and gave up 73 hits, 49 runs (35 earned) and 23 walks while fanning 25. She had a 3.91 ERA.
Though the Tide fell just short of their fourth consecutive Pacific Conference title, they still posted a superlative season, going 22-8 overall and 11-3 in league play, finishing a game behind league champion Tualatin. Glencoe advanced to the state quarterfinals for the eighth time in as many seasons before dropping a one-run decision to an upstart South Medford team.
Meanwhile, Century put a total of four players on the all-league squad. Senior outfielder Allie Kenfield was a first team pick, while freshman Kayla Clayton, senior Leighanna OConnor and junior Tyra Martin were honorable mention selections.
The Jaguars finished 5-21 overall and 1-13 in league play for eighth place before dropping a Class 6A play-in game to Reynolds.
Three players from Hillsboro also snapped up all-league spots. Junior Emalyn Weislogel was a first team selection as a utility player. Senior infielder Tiff Demezas and freshman catcher Skyler Bodin received honorable mention status.
The Spartans were a much improved 12-14 this spring under new coach Stacey Hutchinson who first took over the team on an interim basis partway through the 2013 season and they finished seventh in league play with a 4-10 mark before dropping a 3-2 heartbreaker to Beaverton in the play-in round.