Spring Valley failed to win a region championship for the first time in 10 years and opened the Class 4A state playoffs on the road for the first time in memory, but the young Vikings did make strides in 2009.
Bob Matz’s team finished 14-14 overall after closing with a sub-.500 season grad a year ago.
“We had a lot of success with younger players stepping up,” said Matz. “Our growth this year should bring a lot of benefits to next year’s team. We have several players that are continuing to improve and we look forward to working with them in the off-season. Our pitching has improved and we are looking forward to next season. I expect that Spring Valley will be very competitive in our region, and look forward to challenging Blythewood and Lancaster for the title.”
Seniors Brianna McBride and Kara June and eighth-grader Morgan Barker were named to the all-region team. McBride batted .300 with 23 runs scored, 12 RBIs, two triples and 14 stolen bases. June led the team in hitting (.359) and OPS (.849), and had 18 runs, 16 RBIs, five doubles and nine steals. Barker batted .358 with 18 RBIs and was 8-5 with a 1.59 ERA in the circle.
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McBride, who was named the team MVP, June and Morgan Isreal (18 runs, nine steals) are the thre departing senior starters.
Barker, Mariaha Sanborn (.353, 12 runs, 21 RBIs), Rachel Mellin (.250, 15 RBIs, 6-9, 2.69 ERA), Ashley Gurganious, Rebecca Wiesehahn, Lauren Skinner and Christie Reilly are the returning starters.