This is the ninth year West Valley Preps has announced honors for the best softball players it covers in the Northwest Valley. The player can be on the team for their secondary position. Here is the 2022 All West Valley Preps softball team:
C – Jaeden Murphy (Senior) Willow Canyon
1B - Trinity Kennemer (Junior) Willow Canyon
2B – Alannah Rogers (Senior) Willow Canyon
3B – Amailee Morales (Senior) Paradise Honors
SS – Krista Francia (Senior) Paradise Honors
OF – Tanya Windle (Senior) Cactus
OF – Payton Smith (Junior) Mountain Ridge
OF – Hailey Strobert (Sophomore) Deer Valley
UT – Macie Thomas (Junior) Northwest Christian
P – Marissa McCann (Junior) Willow Canyon
P – Samara Romero (Junior) Paradise Honors
P – Samantha Jarvis (Junior) Centennial
C – Cadence Walding (Senior) Centennial
C – Maycee Hilt (Senior) Liberty
1B – Allison Lindsay (Junior) Shadow Ridge
2B - Emily Patton (Senior) Sunrise Mountain
SS – Tristen Turlington (Senior) Willow Canyon
3B – Katherine Poe (Senior) Northwest Christian
OF – Sydnee Levandowski (Junior) Millennium
OF – Mari Murillo (Junior) Paradise Honors
UT – Alexandra Hess (Junior) Deer Valley
P – Sadie Sua (Junior) Sunrise Mountain
P – Maddie Blair (Junior) Northwest Christian
P – Angelica Tello (Senior) Cactus
Underclassmen to watch: Cactus – Jacqueline Carpenter, 3B (Soph.); Centennial – Makayla Madrid, IF (Soph.); Tawnie Mozeris IF/C, (Soph.); Deer Valley – Kyla Decker C (Fr.), Adyson Ordway P/1B, (Fr.); Desert Edge – Kiley Hernandez 2B/3B (Soph.),; Estrella Foothills – Arleen Madrid C/SS, (Soph.); Glendale Prep – Sophia Nakachi (Fr.),; Ironwood – Madelaine Gober (Fr.),; Liberty – Annika Bolton, (Soph.); Millennium – Onora Farney OF, (Soph.), Cyan Ramos 1B/3B, (Soph.); Mountain Ridge – Courtney Lake 3B, (Soph.), Guilliana Wilson OF/P (Soph.); Northwest Christian – Mia Angus C/2B, (Fr.) Kendalyn Cook OF/P, (Fr.); Paradise Honors – Aliya Bilger, 2B/OF (Soph.); Peoria – Valerie Saucedo 2B/RF (Soph.), Jayden Zamora UT (Soph.); Shadow Ridge – J’Kai’A Graves 2B/UT, (Soph.), Jordan Hart OF, (Soph.); Sunrise Mountain – Hailey Martinez OF (Soph.); Valley Vista – Savanna Gumowski P/OF (Fr.), Brooke Hyde SS, (Soph.); Willow Canyon – Harmony Andrade IF, (Soph.), Rylee Turlington OF, (Soph.),
Willow Canyon junior pitcher Marissa McCann winds up to deliver a pitch early in the 5A state softball final May 14 at Farrington Stadium in Tempe. She pitched all 35 innings in the playoffs for the Wildcats, allowing two runs total (both earned) and recording 74 strikeouts. [Renee Ryon/For West Valley Preps]
Marissa McCann, Willow Canyon – It is tough for a pitcher to win this award, particularly one that never hits. And McCann was not the favorite entering the playoffs. But her postseason tour de force not only made her the player of the year. Her dominance of the best 5A put the rest of her historic season-long performance. Simply put, with McCann in the circle, Willow Canyon ascended from one of the best teams in the state to one of the best in the nation. In five complete playoff games, McCann allowed two runs. She struck out 75 batters in 35 innings. Then you peel back a layer. In 18 games, she allowed 10 runs with only five of them earned. She won all 18 games with an 0.29 ERA and 275 Ks in 120 1/3 innings. She shut out 6A champion Phoenix Xavier Prep in a preseason tournament 5-0 win,then came on in relief in a 7-5 loss and tossed another three scoreless innings. She also threw a two-hitter against O’Connor’s sluggers
Runner-up: Tanya Windle, Cactus – Like McCann owned the playoffs, Windle was the queen of the regular season. And she had considerably less help. Windle led the state with a 1.985 slugging percentage, an .800 on-base percentage and a .765 batting average. Her 21 homers were second O’Connor slugger Jocelyn Erickson (the Gatorade Arizona Player of the Year). Her 52 RBI were further down the table, simply because teammates did not get on base that much. Fellow senior Angelica Tello was second on the Cobras with 12 RBI. Windle also deserves commendation for staying loyal to her dad’s school and the teammates she loved playing with while stuck in a long, crippling coaching change process that put Cactus behind all season and caused them to drop out of the 4A playoffs entirely.
Second runner-up: Amailee Morales, Paradise Honors – Quietly, Morales put up similar numbers to her friend and fellow 4A powerhouse. Morales was the centerpiece of the 4A semifinalist, batting .710, with 16 home runs, 76 RBI and a 1.500 slugging percentage. She kept the program at its elevated level during a coaching change and Paradise Honors’ second year of 4A play. Her big bat heads to Northern Colorado next spring.
Paradise Honors senior Krista Francia slaps five with first-year head coach Dave Kinnoin after reaching third base during a March 28 gaame at Cactus High School in Glendale. Kinnoin has coached Francia since age 3. Kinnoin is the West Valley Preps softball coach of the year. [Courtesy Ed Russell Photography/For West Valley Preps]
Dave Kinnoin, Paradise Honors – He was more than ready to step in when Paul Hatcher retired and the Panthers didn’t skip a beat. This award is now to the point where Willow Canyon’s Donnie TIzzano could win it each year. But his Wildcats were completely loaded and thus expected to repeat a 5A champion. Kinnoin took over a very talented squad, but finishing the year as the best Valley team in 4A, and third best in the conference behind Tucson Salpointe Catholic and Canyon del Oro bus by no means certain. Kinnoin figured out the lineup and made necessary tweaks, while keeping a close bond with his players. The results were a 32-3 season that continued the Surprise program’s upward trajectory.
Runner-up: Kirk Van Metre - Northwest Christian – This Surprise resident continues to build this 3A program in northwest Phoenix into a 3A contender. This year he led the Crusaders, who have four players from the softball hotbed of Surprise, to the state semifinals for the first time since 2013. That followed the quarterfinals in 2021, and a playoff return in 2019 — his first year as head coach. With a young team, Van Metre has a legitimate state title contender on his hands in the next few years.
Second runner-up: Randy Kaye, Centennial – This program took a step back after finishing as the 5A runner ups in 2019. Kaye managed to get this young squad back up to #4 in the conference this season. Even though a first round upset by Casteel left a sour taste, the Coyotes reversed their slide far better than their neighbors in Peoria and Glendale, and look poised to go further in the postseason.
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