Mirror releases softball, baseball all-star lists

Heavy hitters and established star pitchers highlight the Altoona Mirror 2013 all-star teams in baseball and softball.

Catcher Luke Campbell of District 5 Class AA champion Bedford crashed eight home runs in 22 games to go along with a .550 batting average. Campbell, however, wasn’t the only Mirror baseball standout to hit safely more than half of the time – in fact, he didn’t even lead the area in hitting.

That distinction went to Northern Cambria’s Josh Bonatesta, who hit at an amazing .661 clip. Joining him in the first team all-area outfield is Spencer McInroy, who batted .565 for 5-AA runner-up Everett; in fact, their position was so strong that Claysburg-Kimmel’s Devin Weyandt, who finished second in the area to Campbell in home runs with six, was relegated to the second team.

Central shortstop Austin Cunningham sported a better-than-.500 average as well, while Claysburg’s Trey Claar and Northern Bedford’s Eric Grace were just a couple of hits away from the magic mark.

Bedford, Bellwood-Antis, Central, Everett, Hollidaysburg and Northern Bedford had the most first-team picks with two apiece. Four players that made the first team in 2012 were repeat selections: Grace, Pitt recruit Brett Hileman of Hollidaysburg, Altoona’s Ben Wyland and Bishop Guilfoyle’s Jextin Pugh, a Binghamton signee.

Pugh and Wyland both made the first team last year as position players.

There were several familiar faces from past all-area teams that worked inside the softball pitching circle, as well. Philipsburg-Osceola’s Kate Burge and Bellwood-Antis’ Taylor Payne both make the first team for the third year in a row. They are both seniors. Penn Cambria’s Kelly Yusko can match them for number of first team appearances if she can duplicate her 2012 and 2013 performances next spring.

Claysburg’s Kala Brumbaugh, Hollidaysburg’s Hannah Mercer, Central’s Ashley Smith, Chestnut Ridge’s Bridgit Yothers and Bellwood’s Jackie Finn also are on the first team for the second straight season.

Mercer, P-O’s Abby Showers and Central’s Taylor McKnight batted .571, .526 and .525, respectively, to head up an outstanding crop of area shortstops.

Burge’s and Showers’ Lady Mounties, who won District 6 Class AA and made it all the way to the PIAA semifinals, had the most softball first-teamers with five. Bellwood was next in line with three, while Central, Ridge, Claysburg and Hollidaysburg produced two apiece.