Spring sports 'Outstanding Player Award' nominees officially announced

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Spirit Sports staff is glad to announce the 2012 spring sports nominees for The Punxsutawney Spirit's Universal Well Services Inc. male and female Outstanding Player Awards.

• Ashley Bacha, softball: Bacha was one of two main work horses for the Lady Chucks' pitching staff this season, compiling a 2.38 ERA over 35.1 innings and striking out 42 hitters.

Bacha also had a .273 average and drove in 11 runs over the course of the season for the Lady Chucks.

• Juliann Boddorf, track and field: Boddorf was one of two Lady Chucks who earned a trip to the PIAA Class AAA State Championships, with her runner-up performance in the 400-meter dash at districts earning her the berth.

Boddorf was a consistent place-winner for Punxsy all season in the 200- and 400-meter dashes and served as a member of the relay teams, as well.

• Randa Depp, softball: Depp — a senior who pitched the majority of Punxsy's innings this season — had another successful campaign with an impressive 1.90 ERA. Her 50 Ks were a team-high figure, and she had two games where she struck out double-figure opponents.

Depp was a senior leader on the squad — one of five graduating players — and she helped lead the Lady Chucks to the opening round of the PIAA Class AAA State Championship tournament.

• Chelsea Engeholm, softball: As a junior member of the Lady Chucks softball team, Engeholm was a leader, especially on the offensive end.

She hit from the leadoff spot, and Engeholm frequently reached base in her first at-bat to get things jump-started for the sticks.

Engeholm led the team in three important categories with a .450 batting average, 27 hits and nine doubles — instantly placing a runner in scoring position each time she hit one.

• Karah Hollis, track and field: As both a sprinter and a high jumper, Hollis was a frequent first-place finisher for the Lady Chucks through- out their 2012 campaign.

Hollis often went up against some tough competition against larger schools and held her own against some of the state's finest competitors.

She finished second in the 100-meter dash at districts, putting her just out of contention for states.

• Alexis Young, track and field: Last but not least, Punxsy's junior distance runner Young was the Lady Chucks' second representative at states after finishing second and being granted the spot at districts.

Young was a consistent runner all season for the Lady Chucks, turning in solid times despite running a plethora of distance events in each meet.

Her trip to states was a first in track and field, but her experience at that level paid off, as she had made the trip prior as a cross country runner.

• Michael Blose, tennis: Playing at No. 1 singles all season for the Chucks, Blose led his squad to the District IX championships, where it fell to DuBois.

Blose was also runner-up in the No. 1 singles, and after an impressive run to states last year, he and doubles partner Tim Pearce fell just short of making the trip again this year with a second-place finish at districts.

• Jamie Bush, baseball: Bush, a junior pitcher and first baseman for the Chucks, was the go-to guy on a baseball squad that was known for its deep, steady pitching staff — amassing a 5-3 record against some of the Chucks' stoutest competition.

Bush's season climaxed with a great performance at the D-IX championship game, where he pitched a shutout to lead Punxsy to a 6-0 victory over St. Marys and to the PIAA State Tournament.

• Kevin Hughes, track and field: A sophomore sprinter for the Chucks, Hughes earned a berth to the PIAA Class AAA Championships in the event he owned all season — the 400-meter dash.

Even as an underclassman, Hughes was a frequent place-winner for the Chucks in both the 200- and 400-meter dashes all season.

• Brody Morgan, track and field: As a senior — and up against Bradford powerhouse thrower David Reinhardt — Brody Morgan had just one chance to qualify for states, and he did so in the javelin by reaching the PIAA mark this season.

Morgan was up against some stiff competition in the district all season, and he continually proved to be up to the challenge, frequently finshing on the podium.

• Tim Pearce, tennis: Pearce, a senior member of the Chucks tennis squad and defending D-IX champion at the doubles level, was a solid presence all season for the Chucks, playing No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles with Blose all year.

Pearce put on an impressive showing against eventual D-IX champion Trey Gilmore at the singles championships and, along with Blose, came in second to DuBois' top pair at the doubles championships.

• Ty Zimmerman, baseball: Zimmerman was a potent powerhouse at the plate for the Chucks this season, leading the team's regulars with a .444 batting average and in home runs with three.

Zimmerman was also a leader for the Chucks on defense, anchoring a solid infield at the position of shortstop and providing a sense of leadership despite his junior status.

Ballots for the Outstanding Player Award will run in the next 10 issues of The Spirit, and only official ballots will be accepted (no photo copies).

Entries may be dropped off at The Spirit's office or delivered via mail, and the deadline to receive ballots is June 18 at 5 p.m.