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June 17, 2009

Knights' Whitley reminiscent of Salem great Mollica

Let's bestow some honors and make a few citations following another exciting season.

Whitney Mollica Award

This goes to the best pure hitter, in honor of the three-time UMass Amherst all-leaguer out of Salem High.

My pick is North Andover infielder Krissy Whitley. She hit .492 (her fourth straight year of at least .475) and struck out only once all year. The Southern Connecticut State-bound senior can hit anyone.

It makes you wonder what was wrong with the Cape Ann League coaches who didn't put her on the all-conference first team.

Alexis Souhlaris Award

This goes to the best combined pitcher/hitter, like the current University of Maine star from Pinkerton.

The winner, without a doubt, was Brooks senior Britt Hart of North Andover, who compiled a 0.76 ERA for the 14-3 Green and White and also led the team in batting with a .492 average, 20 RBIs and four game-winning hits. If there's a way to beat you, Hart will find it.

Sara Jewett Award

This goes to the best combined catcher/hitter, in honor of the former University of Maine and New England Riptide basher from Haverhill.

North Andover's Candace Waldie earns the honor. Great defensively with a rocket arm, Waldie not only batted .393, but she was all about power, leading the Knights in doubles (6), triples (4), home runs (3) and runs scored (23).

Most Improved Player

Georgetown sophomore Sarah Erlandson gets the nod based largely on her improved control. When she stopped walking batters, and increased her strikeout total, the Royals turned around their fortunes. She had some huge games including striking out 18 vs. Lynnfield and 15 in a no-hitter vs. Manchester Essex.

Most surprising team

Who else but Londonderry? Despite graduating stars Brooke Beaudet, Andrea Ouellette, Cristina Bailey and Molly Rooney, the all-underclassman Lancers (except for pitcher Erica Boehm) went to the Class L semifinals and finished 18-4.

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