Sturm takes top honor
Union senior named District 6 player of the year
Dani Sturm capped off an impressive senior season by earning the Special District 6 softball player of the year award recently.
The Union/Cove product went 21-1 in the circle with 123 strikeouts. She also batted .492 with six home runs and 18 stolen bases.
“It means a lot to me,” Sturm said of the award. “I worked really hard since my freshman year.”
Sturm helped the Lady Cats go 26-3 this season en route to winning the 2A/1A state championship. Sturm pitched complete-game shutouts in both the semifinal win over Perrydale and the title game against Yoncalla.
“Dani was just consistent for us this year,” said Union/Cove head coach Paul Phillips, who was named the district’s coach of the year. “It helped that she had a good team behind her, too. She’s a real coachable athlete.”
Sturm was also named a first-team all-district pitcher.
“My pitching coach helped me out a lot. He gave me a lot of confidence,” Sturm said. “(At the plate) I just went up there and swung. My coaches told me not to think much about it.”
Sturm was joined on the all-district first team by six teammates.
Amber Fiorito (first base) hit .362 with four home runs this year, while Keesha Sarman (infield) had a .453 average with six home runs and 14 doubles. Kaci Langford (infield) hit .448 with three long balls.
Utility player Carsyn Roberts hit at a .357 clip with one home run and 21 stolen bases. Jaiden Wright (outfield) hit .420 with one home run and 11 doubles. Designated hitter Kindra Moore hit .400 with four triples and a home run.
“We had probably the deepest team we’ve ever had this year,” Phillips said. “Obviously the results spoke for themselves. We weren’t just one player, we were one though nine.”
Phillips said the Lady Cats were a more experienced club this season.
“We were pretty good last year. But this year I think we had a year of maturity from our sophomores. I think that progress helped. And the seniors didn’t check out at the end of the season. They stayed focused and wanted that state title,” Phillips said.
Elgin/Imbler had three players earn first-team honors — pitcher Danika McIntosh (2-5, 19 strikeouts, .377, two home runs), utility player Rikki Griffin (.426, 26 hits) and outfielder Darcey Kanoho (.333, four triples).
Enterprise/Joseph also had three players named to the first team. Catcher Amy Edison (.450, 42 hits, one home run), pitcher Sidney Cooney (5-5, 80 strikeouts, .350, 28 hits) and outfielder Kylie Willis (.315, 21 hits) all earned the honor.
Grant Union infielder Kennedy Nash and outfielder Morgan Immons also made the first team.