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THE SPORTS REPORTS: CORNING'S JOHNSTON HEADLINES ALL-REGION SOFTBALL TEAM AS 'PLAYER OF THE YEAR,' TIOGA'S FEEKO, OWEGO'S LAUBACH, NEWARK VALLEY'S LUDWIG ALSO EARN TOP HONORS (2024-07-01)

The Sports Reports
Corning worked its way up the state rankings and capped its season with a NYSPHSAA Class AAA championship.  A key element to that accomplishment was The Sports Reports' 2024 All-Region “Softball Player of the Year,” sophomore Matti Johnston.

Johnston hit .460 on the year with a .564 on-base percentage. She had five doubles, four triples, four home runs, 24 RBI, 30 runs scored and 12 stolen bases.

In the circle, Johnson threw 86 2/3 innings with a 3.15 ERA and 80 strikeouts. Johnston twirled a no-hitter in the sectional final and was 8-3 on the season, including a perfect mark in the postseason.

Tioga sophomore RaeAnne Feeko was a good defensive shortstop, but was even better at the plate. The “Offensive Player of the Year” hit .608, which included a string of 14 consecutive hits. She had 45 hits in 74 at-bats with 11 doubles, four triples, five home runs, 37 RBI, 48 runs scored, 11 stolen bases, 15 walks and was hit by four pitches for a .688 on-base percentage, to go along with a 1.068 slugging percentage for a 1.756 OPS.

In the pitcher’s circle, Feeko was 6-0 with a 2.45 ERA. She allowed 14 hits in 34 2/3 innings, while striking out 61 and walking 31. Opponents hit .122 against her.

Owego’s Miley Laubach moved behind the plate full-time in her sophomore campaign and performed without error in 100 chances, making her the “Defensive Player of the Year.”

North Penn-Liberty’s Mackenzi Tice is the “Pitcher of the Year.”  Tice led the 19-1 Mounties from the circle and at the plate. She pitched 80 innings and went 15-1 with a 0.79 ERA and 125 strikeouts.

Tice also hit .370, with a .490 on-base percentage. She had 31 base hits, including five doubles and a triple, 21 RBI, 35 runs scored and 21 stolen bases.

Newark Valley’s Laura Ludwig is the “Breakout Player of the Year.” After seeing limited action last season, she played in 12 of the team's 14 games this year, raised her batting average from .143 to .359, on-base percentage from .250 to .528 and slugging percentage from .143 to .436. In the field, she improved her fielding percentage from .915 to .927.

Corning 7th-grader Emelia Smith helped lead the Hawks to the Class AAA state title.  The “Newcomer of the Year” batted cleanup through the postseason. She hit .383 with a .418 on-base percentage, and had two doubles, 13 RBI and 16 runs scored.

Mike Johnston Jr. guided Corning to the NYSPHSAA Class AAA championship and is the “Coach of the Year.” The Hawks, who were ranked 13th in the first sportswriters poll of the season, finished with a 14-6 overall record.

2024 All-Region Softball
FIRST TEAM
Matti Johnston, Corning:
(See above).

Peyton Sullivan, Corning: Sullivan hit an area-leading seven home runs to go with five triples and four doubles. 33 RBI, 30 runs scored. She hit .493 with a .558 on-base. A D-II commit to New Haven, she also struck out 45 in 41 1/3 innings, with a 3.90 ERA.
    
Gabby Milazzo, Edison: Milazzo threw 98 innings, with a 15-3 record, a 1.90 ERA, and 125 strikeouts. She also hit .475 with a .508 on-base, five doubles and 19 RBI.
 
Hannah Berger, Northeast Bradford: One of the most feared clean-up batters in the area, Berger hit .522 with six home runs, 10 doubles, 28 RBI, and 30 runs scored.

Miley Laubach, Owego: Laubach led her team with a .524 batting average, which included eight extra-base hits. She drove in 16 runs, scored 15, stole nine bases, struck out just five times, and carried a .615 on-base percentage and .762 slugging percentage.
 
Mackenzi Tice, North Penn-Liberty: (See above).

Addison Taft, Elmira: Taft hit .459 with a .548 on-base percentage. She had six doubles, a triple and two home runs with 11 RBI , 20 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases.

RaeAnne Feeko, Tioga: (See above)

Lauren Ridall, Troy:  Ridall hit .512 with a team-high 27 runs scored, 17 RBI, and nine doubles. She pitched 34 1/3-innings with 23 strikeouts and a 2.65 ERA.

Maddie Hiley, Athens: A sophomore, Maddie Hiley  hit .413 with eight doubles, one triple, 20 RBI, 15 runs scored, and four stolen bases. She had a .493 on-base percentage, to go along with a .571 slugging percentage for a 1.065 OPS. Hiley was flawless in 37 defensive chances at multiple positions. She had one passed ball in 11 innings behind the plate and threw out the only runner who attempted to steal.

Gretchan Hiley, Athens: A freshman, Gretchan Hiley led her team at the plate with a .458 average including a team-high 28 runs scored, 12 doubles, and 13 RBI. In limited action in the circle she had a 0.72 ERA with 51 strikeouts in 29 1/3 innings.
  
Kenna Thomas, Williamson: The sophomore put up a .485 batting average and a .533 on-base-percentage for the Lady Warriors with 32 base hits, more than half of which were for extra bases (11 doubles, three tripled, three home runs), 29 runs scored and 20 RBI. The repeat All-Tioga County first-teamer also threw 76 innings, with a 4-7 record, and a 2.75 ERA and 122 strikeouts.

SECOND TEAM
Saige Lehman, North Penn-Liberty: A senior, Lehman hit .460 with a .550 on-base percentage, 30 base hits, 25 RBI, 26 runs, 10 stolen bases.

Caitlyn Knapp, Troy: Knapp loomed large behind the plate, sporting a .985 fielding percentage and keeping runners in check on the base paths. She also hit .323 with three home runs.

Haley Litzelman, North Penn-Liberty: The sophomore hit .305 with a .414 on-base percentage, 22 hits (6-2B, 3 HR), 28 RBI, 17 runs, 10 BB, pitched 31 innings, 0.45 ERA, 42 strikeouts. NTL first team.

Addie Smith, North Penn-Liberty: The junior batted .340 with a .410 on-base percentage, 26 hits, 28 runs, 10 SB.

Sophia Polzella, Corning: A strong defensive catcher, Polzella hit .241 with five doubles, two triples and two home runs. She scored 28 runs and had 10 RBI. A D-I commit to Hofstra, she stole 15 bases.

Megan Wolf, Horseheads: Wolf hit .405 with a .482 on-base percentage, and a .649 slugging percentage for a 1.131 OPS. She had 30 hits, including five doubles, two triples, three home runs, 15 RBI, and 24 runs scored.

In the circle, she posted a 3.43 ERA with 123 strikeouts in 81 2/3 innings. Opponents hit .179 against her.

Kailey Ripley, Edison: Ripley hit .431 with a .515 on-base percentage, eight doubles, 18 RBI and 19 runs scored.

Sophia Bonnell, Horseheads: Bonnell hit .438 with a .461 on-base percentage, one double, 20 runs scored, 12 steals and seven RBI.

Shaylee Greenland, Towanda: Greenland threw 60-innings with 81 strikeout, against eight walks and sported a 3.50 ERA.
 
Savannah Persun, Athens: Persun tossed 75 1/3-innings with 99 strikeouts against 23 walks and a 2.23 ERA to help the Wildcats to reach the district semifinals.

McKenzie Williams, Tioga:
The junior hit .507 with 16 doubles, two home runs, 35 RBI, 33 runs scored, and eight stolen bases. She had a .580 on-base percentage, to go along with an .800 slugging percentage for a 1.380 OPS. Williams also had a .981 fielding percentage, with just three errors in 160 total chances. She also threw out 16 would-be base-stealers.

Raegan Sudnikovich, Spencer-Van Etten / Candor: The Eagles’ leadoff hitter batted .419 with 13 extra-base hits, nine RBI and 12 stolen bases. Behind the plate, she held a .943 fielding percentage, committing just four errors in 72 chances.

THIRD TEAM
Erin Luther, Tioga: A junior, Luther batted .465 with 15 doubles, two triples, three home runs, 32 RBI, 27 runs scored, and three stolen bases. She had a .558 on-base percentage, to go along with an .859 slugging percentage to account for a 1.417 OPS. In the pitcher’s circle, Luther was 11-3 with a 3.53 ERA. She allowed 66 hits in 89 1/3 innings, while striking out 104 and walking 87. Opponents hit .190 against her.
 
Melanie Shumway, Northeast Bradford:
Shumway hit .424 with 26 runs scored, and 10 RBI.

Ruby Sherman, Cowanesque Valley: Sherman threw 97 innings, posted a 16-4 record, with a 0.43 ERA and 122 strikeouts. She hit .437 with a .452 on-base-percentage, 31 base hits and 22 runs scored.

Addy Bly, Wyalusing: Bly hit .431 with 25 runs scored, seven doubles, and 13 RBI.

Carsten Crawford, Owego: The sophomore bounced back from surgery to help the River Hawks qualify for the Section IV Class A championship game (canceled due to flag football conflict). She was errorless in 15 chances in the field and recorded 87 strikeouts  in 67 innings from the circle. She gave up 26 earned runs for a 2.72 ERA. At the plate, she hit .342.

Logan Hamilton, Cowanesque Valley: Hamilton batted .475 with a .557 on-base percentage, 28 base hits (five home runs, and four doubles) and drew 11 walks.

Mikenna Buchanan, Williamson: Buchanan posted a .467 batting average, .573 on-base percentage, 28 base hits, including seven doubles, one triple, one home run, 31 RBI,  and 17 runs scored.

Ashley Woodring, Cowanesque Valley: Woodring hit .455 batting, and had a .532 on-base percentage with 30 base hits, including seven for extra bases, 21 runs and 11 walks.

Kali Ayres, Troy: Ayres hit .410 with 19 runs scored and seven doubles.

Katelyn Klym, Spencer-Van Etten / Candor: The junior hit .535 with 19 runs, eight RBI and seven stolen bases. She played errorless ball at first base.

Madison Cron, Waverly: A sophomore, Cron was a good defender at the hot corner, and hit .407 with five doubles, one home run, 13 RBI, 16 runs scored, and three stolen bases.

Roni Presher, Spencer-Van Etten / Candor: A senior, Presher hit .517 with eight runs and 13 RBI. In the circle, she was 8-4 with 48 strikeouts.

FOURTH TEAM
Hannah Carpenter, Waverly:
Carpenter, a freshman, has been tabbed as a brilliant defensive catcher who hit a team-high .421 with five doubles, two home runs, 13 RBI, 10 runs scored, and two stolen bases.

Joslyn Wright, Newark Valley: Wright hit .333 with a .500 on-base percentage abd a .556 slugging percentage for a 1.056 OPS. She had six extra-base hits, 19 runs, 11 RBI, 14 walks and 12 stolen bases. She had an .865 fielding percentage with 34 putouts and 11 assists in 52 chances.

Kaitlyn Keith, Newark Valley: The 7th-grader batted .333 with a .533 on-base percentage, and a.571 slugging percentage for a 1.104 OPS. Keith had five extra-base hits, 22 runs, 15 RBI, 17 walks and 14 stolen bases. She carried a .915 fielding percentage behind the plate (97 putouts and assists in 106 chances).

Laura Ludwig, Newark Valley: (See above).

Maia Smith, Owego: Smith hit .404 with five runs and nine RBI. She struck out just one time. In the outfield, she had 11 putouts in 12 chances (.917 percentage).

Emily Bidwell, Tioga: The senior had a breakout season, hitting .443 with 31 hits, including seven doubles, and three triples, 37 RBI, 21 runs scored, and five stolen bases. She walked eight times and had a .500 on-base percentage, to go along with a .629 slugging percentage for a 1.129 OPS.
   
Jules Pack, Athens: A strong defensive outfielder, the junior hit .419 (26 hits in 62 ABs) with four doubles, one triple, 24 RBI, 18 runs scored, and eight stolen bases. She also walked seven times and had a .471 on-base percentage, to go along with a .516 slugging percentage for a .988 OPS.

TaeLynn Brabant, Towanda: Brabant took her game to another level this season. She improved her batting average by 100 points, hitting .435 with 21 RBI and 16 runs scored.

Ashlyn VanFleet, Athens: VanFleet batted .375 with 18 runs scored, 21 RBI, and four home runs. A strong-armed catcher, she had a .984 fielding percentage, with just two errors in 123 defensive chances. She threw out six would-be base-stealers, picked two runners off base, and had just eight passed balls in 105 1/3 innings behind the dish.

Jaylee Ward, Canton: Ward hit .425 with 22 runs scored, five doubles, and two home runs.

Payton Chapel, North Penn-Liberty: Chapel committed just two errors in 152 chances for the Mounties this season. At the plate, she hit .290 with a .425 OBP, 15 base hits, 14 runs scored and 11 RBI.

Jillian Holmes, Spencer-Van Etten / Candor: The sophomore third baseman played nine games because of an injury and hit .360 with 15 runs, seven RBI and five stolen bases. She posted a .966 fielding percentage (28 putouts and assists in 29 chances) at the hot corner.

2024 All-Region Newcomers
Emelia Smith, Corning: See above.

Jaylee Ward, Canton: See above.

Nevaeh Vroman, Canton: The freshman hit in the .400 neighborhood for a young Warrior squad.
 
Brynsen Vargason, Towanda: She hit .350 with 17 RBI and 17 runs scored.

 Gretchan Hiley, Athens: The freshman hit .462 with 12 doubles, one triple, one home run, 13 RBI, 30 runs scored, and five stolen bases. She had a .494 on-base percentage to go along with a .679 slugging percentage for a 1.173 OPS

In the pitcher’s circle, Hiley was 4-0 with a 1.26 ERA. She allowed 27 hits in 33 1/3 innings, while striking out 53 and walking 22. Opponents hit .205 against her.

Emily Shiner, Tioga: A sophomore, Shiner hit .456 with two doubles, 15 RBI, 23 runs scored and six stolen bases. She walked five times and had a .493 on-base percentage and a .485 slugging percentage.

Kaitlyn Keith, Newark Valley: The only 7th-grader named to an IAC first team, she carried a .333 batting average a .533 on-base percentage and a .571 slugging percentage for a 1.104 OPS. She had five extra-base hits, 22 runs, 15 RBI, 17 walks and 14 stolen bases. She posted a .915 fielding percentage with 93 putouts and four assists in 106 chances.

Jill Lewis, Owego: A senior, she returned to the diamond after a two-year absence, and hit .333 with a.469 on-base percentage and a .385 slugging percentage. She contributed two doubles, five runs, seven RBI and 10 walks, and had 10 putouts and one assist without an error.

Olivia Gee, Williamson: The freshman went 7-2 in the circle for the Warriors over 51 innings pitched with a 2.49 ERA and 49 strikeouts. At the plate, she was a valuable lead-off hitter with an on-base percentage of .355 and a .234 batting average with 15 base hits, including a home run and a double, 23 runs scored and seven RBI.

Lexi Smalley, Williamson: The freshman batted .276 with a .462 on-base percentage and contributed 16 hits, 21 runs, 17 walks and five RBI.

Loralye Anthony, Waverly: A solid defender at shortstop, the junior hit .412 (21-for-51) with four doubles, one triple, 10 RBI and 15 runs scored.

Lily Mezzatesta, Tioga: The sophomore made an immediate impact in her first varsity season, hitting .412 with seven doubles, three triples, 15 RBI, 22 runs scored, and one stolen base. She walked eight times and had a .474 on-base percentage and a .603 slugging percentage for a 1.077 OPS.

Aurora Parlo, Edison:
Parlo hit .531 with a .595 on-base percentage. Had three doubles, a triple, nine RBI, 25 runs scored, and stole 12 bases. She was an IAC South Large School first-team all-star.

Lylie Colunio,  Notre Dame: Colunio hit .330 with zero errors in center field.

Maddie Ribble, Horseheads: A top-notch defender, Ribble batted .293 with a .379 on-base percentage. She had two doubles, two triples, 11 RBI and 10 runs scored.

Sophie Schoonover, Corning: The 8th-grader hit .267 with a .338 on-base percentage. She had four doubles, a triple and a home run with 10 RBI and 17 runs scored.

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