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Tigers garner softball honors

by Chuck Smock

Douglas seniors Rosie Contri, Rebecca Rippee and Lori Shephard each earned first-team recognition on the Northern 4A all-conference softball squad in voting conducted recently by conference coaches.

Contri, who played center field, and Rippee, who played first base, earned first-team honors for the second consecutive season. Shephard was an honorable mention selection at pitcher as a junior.

Douglas second baseman Tomasa Kizer and designated hitter Hillary Moreira were named to the all-conference second team.

Tigers catcher Brooke Kizer and shortstop Cathy Mauzey received honorable mention recognition.

Rippee led the Tigers with 35 hits and an on-base percentage of .493. She struck out only six times while hitting in the leadoff position and scored 23 runs.

She was the only unanimous first-team choice among the position players.

“Rebecca was what you want a senior to be: a leader, committed to the program, a clutch performer, a real team player,” said DHS assistant coach Mike Rippee. “From a coach’s standpoint, she’s the player you can go a long way with. She was very instrumental to our team. As a dad, you can’t ask for a better daughter. I’m very proud of her.”

Rippee was the second-team all-conference third baseman as a sophomore.

Contri scored 18 runs, had six doubles and knocked in 12 runs from the No. 3 spot in the Tigers’ lineup. She also played very well defensively, coach Rippee said.

“You put your best outfielder in center field because you expect them to roam and make plays,” Rippee said. “And she did. She’s a real competitor. When she’s out on the field, she does what it takes to get things done.”

Shephard had an 18-8 record in 27 appearances, including 26 starts. In 193 innings, she posted a 1.76 ERA, while allowing 149 hits and striking out 139 hitters. Shephard walked only six batter all season.

“She had a great senior year,” coach Rippee said. “She was our staff. To get it done in softball, you have to have a pitcher who can do it. And she obviously can do it. She’s one of the best pitchers in the league.

“When the game was on the line, the ball was going to be in Lori’s hand.”

Tomasa Kizer batted .394, which was second best on team, with 28 hits and two home runs.

Moreira led the Tigers with a .410 batting average and a .639 slugging percentage. The sophomore also knocked in 16 runs.

Rippee said Brooke Kizer was one vote shy of making the first team and also missed making the second team by a single vote. She was the first-team designated hitter last season.

“The way she handles a pitcher, there was no better defensive catcher in the league than Brookie,” Rippee said. “A lot of teams were able to give their catchers rest. Brooke was behind the plate all year. She did a great job and she’s going to be missed.”

Mauzey filled a key role defensively when she replaced four-year starter Rebecca Goodspeed at shortstop.

“Coming into the season, we weren’t sure who was going to play shortstop,” Rippee said. “Cathy worked hard, she competed and she won the position outright. She made big plays defensively and she did a good job putting the ball in play. It was nice to see a girl who had worked hard and had been a part of the program earn the position as a senior. She did a great job for us.”

Rippee added that he thought juniors Michelle Roza and Kimmy Gitthens deserved individual recognition for their seasons.

“I think Michelle had a great year at third base,” Rippee said. “She started to really bang the ball around. Defensively, she was one of the top third baseman in the league.

“Kimmy Gitthens made tremendous strides as a softball player and it all came from hard work. She goes 100 miles per hour in practice and in games. I think she’s going to take over that center field position.”