PARKERSBURG - St. Marys came up short in its bid to capture the school's first-ever Class A state softball championship, but that did not keep the West Virginia Sports Writers Association from naming three Blue Devils to its first team all state squad.
Earning repeat spots on the 2012 team were senior pitcher Mandy Cokeley and junior outfielder Kristin "Boogie" Grose while junior infielder Abbi Fetty earned her first selection to the all star squad.
Cokeley picked up 12 wins and finished with a 0.71 earned-run-average as St. Marys finished third at the state championships while Grose hit at a .467 average with 20 runs-batted-in. Fetty led the Mid-Ohio Valley with a .633 batting average which included a trio of home runs and 29 RBIs.
Joining the trio on the first unit were Doddridge County standouts Ashlie LaFalce and Lacy Perkins.
LaFalce, a repeat choice, cracked out five home runs and knocked in 41 runs while finishing with a .469 batting average while Perkins led the Bulldogs with a .511 average at the plate, hit two round trippers and tied LaFalce for the team lead in RBIs.
Named as the unit's captain was Cameron senior pitcher Tara Paczewski.
The senior has been a four-year starter with the Dragons, leading them to a berth in the 2009 state tournament and winning three OVAC championships.
Paczewski has been so dominant at times, it's easy to see why opposing coaches are jumping for joy she won't be in the circle next season.
Paczewski hurled two perfect games in 2012 and an error kept her from a third. She had three no-hitters to go along with two one-hitters and two two-hitters en route to a 15-6 record.
Despite a loaded schedule that saw the Dragons face AAA and AA opponents, Paczewski struck out 135 batters with 25 walks, the best strikeout-to-walk ratio of her career. She also boasted a 1.23 earned run average.
She also became more comfortable at the plate. She led the Dragons with a .481 batting average (third all-time) and set a school record with 13 doubles. She added 39 hits with 26 RBI and a .533 on-base percentage. She scored 33 runs with a two homers and a triple.
The Dragons weren't all Paczewski as evidenced by teammate, and fellow all-stater, Cassidi Richmond. The senior shortstop batted .451 with six home runs, 11 doubles, and 31 RBIs from the from the leadoff position. She set school records with 44 runs and 46 hits, and only struck out three times in 102 at-bats. Richmond moved up from the second team last season.
The state champions in Class A for the second season in a row was Buffalo and the Bison were well-represented with four players on the first team, three being underclassmen.
Freshman Ali Burdette had an impressive first season with a .541 batting average, 10 doubles, three triples, 32 RBIs and 34 runs. Sophomore infielder Chelsey Parkins chipped in with .460 average, seven doubles, three triples, 24 RBIs and 32 runs.
Catcher Casey Cunningham was the senior leader, batting .472 with nine doubles, two triples, and 33 RBIs. Outfielder Katie Higginbotham, also a sophomore, had a .458 average with six doubles, four triples, 16 RBIs, and 42 runs.
Moorefield was runner-up and placed three on the first team: pitcher Danica Rogers (10-1, 1.49 ERA, 90 K), infielder Beth Cook (.570, three HR, 18 doubles, 27 RBI, 33 runs), and outfielder Kelsey Hines (.451, four HR, seven triples, eight doubles, 45 RBI, 28 runs).
Joining Paczewski and Rogers at pitcher is Wheeling Central's Brittany Miller (15-2, 1.22 ERA, 106 K), Pendleton County's Codi Evick (129 K, 1.94 ERA) and Cokeley.
Infielders are Richmond, Cook, Parkins, Fetty and Perkins. Hines, Higginbotham and Grose round out the outfielders.
Jessica Puddister (.526, four triples, 17 RBIs, 16 runs, 98 K) of South Harrison and Morgan Wheeler (240 K, .389, three HR) of Fayetteville join Burdette as utility. LaFalace joins Cunningham at catcher.
Second-team pitchers are Jodi Funkhouser (East Hardy), Megan Sheets (Doddridge County), Nicole Hartley (Clay-Battelle) and Taylor Tomblin (Man).
Taren Bone of Fayetteville is the second-team captain and joined at infield with Wheeling Central's Sydney Bennington, East Hardy's Rayann Foltz, Wirt County's Leah Thomas, Richwood's Toni Amick, and Man's Carri Blaire.
Emily Ohrn of Wirt County, Haley Sheetz of Doddridge County and Jayme Fraley of Moorefield are the outfielders, while Kelsey Bird of Valley Fayette and Marilyn Cassell of East Hardy are the the catchers.
Utility selections are Tiffany Young of Gilmer, Rachel Slone of Parkersburg Catholic, and Sara Lyons of Weirton Madonna.