Five Warwick players named All-State

By on June 30, 2015

 

Warwick senior Ashley Royer, shown here connecting for one of her 17 extra-base hits this season, was one of just two L-L League players to earn Quad-A First-Team All-State honors from the Pennsylvania High School Softball Coaches Association. (Lititz Record file photo)

Warwick senior Ashley Royer, shown here connecting for one of her 17 extra-base hits this season, was one of just two L-L League players to earn Quad-A First-Team All-State honors from the Pennsylvania High School Softball Coaches Association. (Lititz Record file photo)

Several weeks ago, Warwick’s softball team was honored with five L-L League All-Stars.

To think that all five players &tstr; seniors Ashley Royer and Vanessa Strohm, sophomores Nicole Mengel and Mackenzie Russell, and freshman Amanda Herr &tstr; would also be named All-State might have been asking too much, right?

No, as it turns out.

When the Pennsylvania High School Softball Coaches Association released its selections last week, Royer received First-Team accolades, Strohm, Mengel and Russell took home Second-Team honors, and Herr earned Honorable Mention in the Quad-A class.

That was part of an impressive haul by the Lancaster-Lebanon League, in which 27 players were decorated with All-State recognition. Manheim Township’s Lacy Smith joined Royer with Quad-A First-Team honors.

“For the league to have 27 kids recognized, it talks a lot about the quality level of softball that we’re playing here in the Lancaster-Lebanon League,” Warwick skipper Mark Hough said. “It’s great when you see kids getting recognized like that. I’m not that in tune with what the prior numbers have been, but I think for any team to have five kids &tstr; one making the First Team, three making the Second Team and a fifth player making Honorable Mention &tstr; that says a lot about the commitment that the kids have put into the program.”

Royer, a center fielder, certainly played a key role in helping the Section One champion Warwick girls finish with a 19-3 overall record this spring.

In 22 games, she batted .450 (27-for-60) in the middle of the Lady Warriors’ batting order. Royer led the team with 6 home runs and 31 RBI’s, while tying Herr for the team lead with five triples.

“Ashley is just a very quiet leader that goes about her work,” Hough remarked. “She had a very strong bat her junior year and that just carried off again to her senior year.”

Warwick sophomore second baseman Mackenzie Russell batted .494 while earning Second-Team All-State honors. (Lititz Record file photo)

Warwick sophomore second baseman Mackenzie Russell batted .494 while earning Second-Team All-State honors. (Lititz Record file photo)

Royer also showed her versatility and team attitude to contribute at multiple positions.

“Ashley assumed the role of our back-up catcher, and when Jolyssa High was out with a couple of injuries, Ashley went behind the plate,” Hough recalled. “And then if Nicole Mengel was pitching, we had Ashley playing third base.”

Strohm, too, made sacrifices for the team, switching to shortstop prior to this season to open the door for Russell to step in at second base.

All Strohm did was bat .444 (32-for-72) in the No. 3 spot in the lineup with a team-high 33 runs scored. She connected for six doubles, a triple and 17 RBI’s in 22 games.

In the field, she had a .919 fielding percentage, executing 57 of her 62 total chances.

“I think the big asset again with her was her hitting and she was a great vocal leader for us this year,” Hough remarked. “She did an excellent job there. But the other thing was she went out of her comfort zone. She had to move from playing second base, which she had done pretty much her last three years and did an admirable job playing short for us.”

Mengel did an admirable job at the hot corner for the Lady Warriors, hitting .412 (28-for-68) with a team-high 11 doubles. She added 11 RBI’s, two triples and a home run.

Pitching-wise, Mengel was 8-0, 1.40 ERA with 33 K’s in 40 innings.

Warwick sophomore third baseman Nicole Mengel hit .412 this spring while receiving Second-Team All-State accolades. (Lititz Record file photo)

Warwick sophomore third baseman Nicole Mengel hit .412 this spring while receiving Second-Team All-State accolades. (Lititz Record file photo)

“Nikki did a great job as our second pitcher,” Hough said. “Her strength obviously is her abilities at third base and her bat really came alive and knocked in some big runs and big hits when we needed them.”

Russell was also named to the Pennsylvania High School Softball Association’s All-State Second-Team in Class AAAA after batting a team-best .494 out of the leadoff spot. In addition to leading the squad with 40 hits, she tied Royer for second with 28 runs scored.

“Again, she really was our table setter,” Hough said. “When she got on, it really created a lot of great things for us. She knows what’s expected of her and I think that says a lot about the kind of leadership that we’re going to need on the team in the next couple of years and I think Mackenzie’s ready for that challenge.”

Herr was ready for the challenge of facing varsity hitters in her freshman campaign. In 98 2/3 innings, she struck out 94 and posted an ERA of 0.71.

“Number one, she’s just a very polished freshman from a poise standpoint,” Hough said of Herr, who helped her own cause by batting .359 with 17 RBI’s, five doubles and five triples. “She holds her emotions in check. She’s probably her toughest critic and expects probably more out of herself than either (assistant coach) Sam (Derr) did or I did. In the Hempfield game to clinch Section One, it was a 5-3 victory and yet walking off the field, you could see Amanda still wasn’t pleased with the way she pitched that day. She’s that kind of person who wants to improve. Even in the off-season, she and I talked about a couple of things that I think she needs to improve on, and the best part about Amanda is, after I tell her what I’d like to see, her response is ‘Thank you, Coach.’ That’s a rarity.”

Warwick senior shortstop Vanessa Strohm led the Lady Warriors with 33 runs scored and earned Second-Team All-State recognition. (Lititz Record file photo)

Warwick senior shortstop Vanessa Strohm led the Lady Warriors with 33 runs scored and earned Second-Team All-State recognition. (Lititz Record file photo)

Herr was one of two exciting freshmen to watch in Section One this spring, along with Penn Manor’s Brittany Hook. It was Hook who edged out Herr for L-L First-Team honors, but they were equals in All-State voting, both earning Honorable Mention.

“I’m just very proud of (Amanda) that she finally got in that same level because I think they’re both fine young pitchers,” Hough remarked, “but I’m glad to see that she’s getting mentioned in the same breath as Brittany … Deservedly, there’s been a lot of good credit to Brittany, but I think there’s a lot of things that Amanda did very well for us this year, and as a freshman, I’m real glad especially to see the State recognition. It’s nice on the local level, but the fact that it came from the State was really pretty cool.”

Ditto for her four teammates as well.

“I could not have been more proud of the kids,” Hough said.

Warwick freshman pitcher Amanda Herr was 11-3 with a 0.71 ERA en route to earning Second-Team All-State honors. (Lititz Record file photo)

Warwick freshman pitcher Amanda Herr was 11-3 with a 0.71 ERA en route to earning All-State Honorable Mention. (Lititz Record file photo)

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