Posted: 12:00 p.m. Thursday, June 5, 2014

Stephanie Schmidt, Wellington, Post large schools softball player of the year



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Stephanie Schmidt — Big Schools Softball Player of the Year photo
Wellington pitcher Stephanie Schmid was chosen All-Area big schools softball player of the year for 2014.

By Jodie Wagner

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

WELLINGTON —

Stephanie Schmidt played first base for most of her varsity career at Wellington until she was pressed into duty this season as the Wolverines’ starting pitcher.

The senior right-hander responded with a dominating performance on the mound, leading Wellington to a surprise district championship and a berth in the regional finals.

Schmidt, the oldest of three softball-playing sisters, went 16-2 with a 1.63 earned run average and 81 strikeouts for the Wolverines this season. She also batted .470 with 27 RBIs and three home runs.

“Stephanie does everything,” Wellington coach Mark Boretti said. “She has three tools — pitching, fielding at first base and hitting. The hitting is ridiculous.”

Schmidt, 17, began playing softball at age 6 and has sharpened her skills through near-daily practices with her high school and travel softball teams.

The sport is a passion for Schmidt, as it is for her family. Her parents, Bob and Jenny, are longtime softball coaches, while her sisters, Britney and Katie, also play the sport competitively.

“Every night we’ll go home, and if we’re not at a softball field, we’re at the house talking about softball,” Schmidt said. “And if we’re not talking about softball, we’re watching it on TV. It’s 24/7. We never stop.”

Schmidt has played most positions during her long softball career, but first base was her primary position in high school until her senior season.

Injuries pushed her into a starting role on the mound, and she flourished there.

“I like pitching, because you’re in control,” she said. “You control the pace of the game, and you’re really in charge out there. I like that.”

Schmidt’s arm, bat and attitude played a key role in leading the Wolverines to a 23-5 record this season.

Wellington beat No. 1 seed Jupiter for the district championship.

“Her attitude is ridiculous,” Boretti said of Schmidt. “She’s just a joy to coach. She always has a smile on her face. She’s a leader. She became a leader the last two years, and everybody just follows her lead. That’s what it’s all about.”

With her high school career behind her, Schmidt looks forward to a new challenge. She will head to Jacksonville this fall to play first base and pitch for the University of North Florida.

Schmidt hopes to make an impact right away.

“I’m excited, and I’m also a little nervous at the same time,” she said. “I think I’m ready to go and play and start a new chapter.”


FIRST TEAM

Alex Arciola, Jupiter, Sr., Catcher: Did not commit an error during her junior and senior seasons. Also hit .482 with 25 RBIs.

Meghan Jeffrey, Jupiter, Jr., Pitcher: Had a breakout year on the mound, finishing 16-3 with a 1.20 ERA and 176 strikeouts.

Amanda Blanchard, Palm Beach Central, Sr., Pitcher: Hard-throwing right-hander struck out 202 batters and compiled a 1.67 ERA. Also batted .347 with 20 RBIs.

Bailey Whalen, Palm Beach Gardens, So., Pitcher: Struck out 152 batters for the Gators to go along with a 1.52 ERA.

Brianne Lint, Suncoast, Sr., Infielder: One of the area’s top hitters, she slugged seven homers, batted .595 and compiled a 1.098 slugging percentage. Will play at Rollins College.

Marni Greenstein, Park Vista, Sr., Infielder: First baseman led Cobras in hitting with a .481 batting average and 18 RBIs. Will play at Florida State College at Jacksonville.

Kelsey Huff, Dwyer, Sr., Infielder: Hit team-leading .553 to help lead Panthers to regional finals. Signed to play at Florida Gulf Coast.

Emily Lochten, Park Vista, Sr., Infielder: One of the area’s top defensive infielders, FAU signee also hit .348 for the district-champion Cobras.

Amanda Peck, Wellington, Sr., Outfielder: Speedster hit .531 with 30 runs and six triples. Also was 19-for-19 in stolen bases. Signed to play at Stetson.

Minnie Cocuzza, Palm Beach Gardens, Jr., Outfielder: Center fielder finished with 18 RBIs, two doubles and three triples for the Gators.

Ashley Allen, Jupiter, Sr., Outfielder: Right fielder hit .482 with 23 RBIs and 31 hits for Warriors.

Kasandra Castle, Palm Beach Central, Sr. Utility: Catcher/first baseman hit .367 with 24 RBIs and one homer for Broncos. Will play at Florida Gulf Coast.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Mark Boretti, Wellington: Under his direction, the Wolverines won a district title and advanced to the regional semifinals despite the loss of two key players during the season.

SECOND TEAM

C: Jelissa Lopez, Forest Hill, So.

IF: Sydney Jones, Palm Beach Gardens, Sr.

IF: Haley Gonzales, West Boca, Sr.

IF: Tiffany Lower, Palm Beach Gardens, Jr.

IF: Kasey McMullen, Jupiter, Jr.

OF: Brianna Gonzalez, Wellington, Sr.

OF: Casey Estes, Seminole Ridge, Sr.

OF: Leah Heytler, Palm Beach Central, Jr.

P: Jaime Tino, Royal Palm Beach, Fr.

P: Gabby Decker, Park Vista, Sr.

P: Jaime Scher, Park Vista, So.

Utility: Toni Pancione, Wellington, Jr.

HONORABLE MENTION:

Boca Raton: Abby Pac, Riley Cochran; Dwyer: Francesca Serino, Ashton Akers; Forest Hill: Angela Vasquez, Kassie Grimmett; John I. Leonard: Jessica Clark, Jordyn Saccone; Jupiter: Savanna Stone, Brandi Lyew-Fong; Palm Beach Central: Megan Granitto, Lexie Tipmore; Palm Beach Gardens: Kelsey Lay, Montanah Rogers; Park Vista: Vanessa Rubio, Jaymee Kendall; Royal Palm Beach: Jaime Tino; Seminole Ridge: Shay Stevens, Audrey Forbes; Spanish River: Kristina Koutsoupis, Sam Howard; Suncoast: Allison Tilton, Kaitlin Via; Wellington: Mary Rodriguez, Genivieve Mangini; West Boca: Marina Costa, Megan McGrath.

 
 

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