The 2nd Annual Rural County All-Star game will take place today at Reedley College Softball Diamond featuring players from Tulare and Kings counties. Hanford West, Hanford and Lemoore will be represented on the field through six of their players.
A total of 36 girls — 18 for the Blue Team and 18 for the Red Team — were selected from 21 schools for the game this year. In determining the rosters, a combination of nominations from coaches along with statistics, division levels and team success was used during the selection process.
The Red Team is led by Lindsay head coach Izzy Torres and the Blue Team will be captained by Rod Schonbachler from Golden West. The game will be held at Reedley College Softball Diamond with game time at 5:30 p.m.
For the Huskies, pitcher Nikki Antuna and catcher Allison Heffley will represent the blue and black on the Blue Team. Heffley was the West Yosemite League MVP this season and Antuna made Honorable Mention.
“Anytime you get a girl that makes an All-Star team, it’s an honor,” Hanford West coach Russ Heffley said. “It’s not only an honor for the girl, but it’s an honor for the school and the rest of her team.”
Heffley led the Huskies in batting average (.549), hits (45) and tied for runs scored (32). Antuna posted an 8-2 record with a 1.49 ERA after transferring from Lemoore during the season. In 47 innings of work, she allowed five extra-base hits and 10 walks, while striking out 33.
“I think they’ll both do well,” Russ said. “Nothing that they haven’t seen all year. They’re both playing travel ball so it’s not like they haven’t played since high school.”
The Blue Team will add the services of Bullpups outfielder Emily Juarez and designated hitter Alyssa Cota. Cota made Second Team for All-WYL selections as the DH and Juarez made Honorable Mention.
Cota tied for a team-high .333 batting average and tied for third with 20 runs. Juarez led the team with 32 runs and was fifth on the team by hitting .312. Both tied for second with 25 hits.
Lemoore’s Susannah Campos and Selina Perez will join the Red Team. Each one was instrumental in helping the team pick up victories throughout the season.
Perez led the team with a .395 batting average and was tied for second on the team with 32 hits. Campos drove in a team-high 28 RBIs and was third on the team with 29 hits.
The two Tigers made Honorable Mention for the All-WYL teams.
General admission is $10 with senior citizens and students (with a valid ID) $8. Veterans (with a valid ID) and children under the age of 3 years are free. Parking is $5 per vehicle in the grass area surrounding the softball diamond.
Renegade Gourmet, a local Visalia caterer, will provide $3 and $4 gourmet tacos throughout the game. There will also be food and drinks for sale at the snack bar.
There will be shirts sold at the game with an All-Star logo on the front and the names of coaches, selected players and honorable mentions on the back. Shirts will be limited and are $15 each.
Finally, there will be a raffle of several items, including autographed bats from the Rural County All-Stars and gift baskets.