HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
Adkins' lights-out week helps Bradford remain unbeaten
Published: Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 11:33 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 11:33 p.m.
After watching Ashton Adkins work towards the area's lowest ERA as a sophomore, Bradford coach Daniel Davis knew his starting pitcher would be no stranger to shutouts this season.
Fourteen wins into this year however, Davis has seen a change in the player he calls “the most consistent” he's ever coached.
With an area-leading 116 strikeouts for the undefeated Tornadoes, Adkins has added power throwing across the plate to compliment her patient approach on the mound.
A year ago, Adkins needed 148.1 innings to compile her team-high 129 strikeouts.
This season, she's pitched just 80 innings to reach her current mark, after fanning 31 batters in three shutout road wins last week.
“The difference this year is her strikeout numbers,” Davis said. “Ashton rarely ever walks anybody. She might have 11 walks this year and about six were intentional. … She has command of all her pitches.”
Adkins lowered her already paltry ERA to 0.52 last week after she led the Tornadoes, ranked No. 1 in Class 4A by the Miracle Sports softball poll, to a 1-0 win Tuesday at Lafayette — the top-ranked team in 1A — and District 5-4A victories against Williston and Santa Fe.
In Bradford's 1-run win against the Hornets, Adkins came out on top of a complete-game pitchers' duel with Lafayette senior Lindsay O'Steen, who allowed just four hits.
However, Adkins was able to maintain a fourth-inning lead for the Tornadoes with eight strikeouts and just two hits surrendered.
Later in the week, Adkins would toss two more scoreless gems against the Red Devils and Raiders.
In seven innings of 1-hit work during Thursday's 12-0 win against Williston, she struck out 16 of the 25 batters she faced and even belted a home run at the plate.
“She's very steady on the mound,” he said. “Her demeanor is always the same. She doesn't let anything get to her, whether it's something positive or negative happening in the game.”
FLETCHER SIMMONS, P.K. YONGE: A sophomore pitcher, Simmons earned a win against Eastside and a save against Father Lopez last week after throwing five innings with no earned runs and seven strikeouts. At the plate, he finished 6-for-12 over the Blue Wave's three games with four runs, five RBIs and two triples.
MADISON O'LEARY, OAK HALL: O'Leary, a junior midfielder, led the Eagles to a pair of wins last week with 10 goals and five assists. In an 18-4 win over Gainesville on Wednesday, O'Leary tied for a team-high six goals and dished an assist.
KAITLYN BURKE, P.K. YONGE: Burke, a freshman catcher, went a combined 5-for-7 at the plate in the Blue Wave's three wins last week and scored three runs with four RBIs.
Track and field
KENRIC YOUNG, GAINESVILLE: Young, a junior, finished Saturday's Bob Hayes Invitational hosted by Jacksonville Raines with a personal-record time of 21.70 to finish sixth in the 200-meter dash. He also participated in the Hurricanes' first-place 4x100 relay team, which posted a season-best 41.49, and earned third overall finish with the 4x400 relay team.
JONATHAN WARD, TRENTON: A junior outfielder, Ward went 4-for-8 at the plate over two games last week with five runs, four stolen bases and three RBIs. Ward also pitched two innings with two strikeouts Friday in the Bulldogs' 12-0 win at Bell.
STEPHEN SMITH, TRENTON: The junior shortstop led the undefeated Tigers to a pair of wins last week against Bell and P.K. Yonge on 4-for-7 hitting with two runs and two RBIs. On the mound, Smith threw three scoreless innings in Tuesday's 11-1 victory over the Blue Wave and recorded three strikeouts.
ADONIS GRAHAM, NEWBERRY: A freshman, Graham tossed a complete game no-hitter last Tuesday lead the Panthers past Melody Christian, 7-0. Graham was making just his second career start for Newberry and also struck out four.
GABE MILLER, P.K. YONGE: The senior catcher went 6-for-10 last week in three games with four RBIs and three doubles. Miller also threw out 50 percent of opposing runners attempting to steal bases.
ASHLEY COHRS, OAK HALL: The junior midfielder tied with teammate O'Leary for a team-high six goals in Wednesday's 18-4 win at Gainesville. On Saturday, Cohrs scored another goal to help the Eagles beat Palm Coast Matanzas 12-5 and also dished out three of her seven assists on the week.
LOGAN BLASER, OAK HALL: The sophomore captain led the Eagles with a 4-3 record last week as his team's No. 1 singles player and a member of its top doubles duo. Blaser ran out to singles wins against St. Francis, Crystal River and Palatka.
KATIE O'DELL, P.K. YONGE: The senior outfielder hit 4-for-6 last week in wins against St. Joseph, St. Francis and Trinity Prep. O'Dell also scored five runs and drove in three RBIs.
AMANDA DONOVAN, GAINESVILLE: A senior centerfielder, Donovan went 5-for-9 over three games last week for the Hurricanes with three runs scored, two RBIs and two stolen bases. Donovan also hit a seventh-inning, game-tying triple Tuesday in Gainesville's 3-2 win against district rival Ocala Vanguard and then scored the winning run.
TAYLOR GETMAN, OAK HALL: The sixth-grade shortstop led the Eagles on 9-for-14 hitting to go along with six runs scored and four RBIs in four games. Also for the week, Getman also notched three extra-base hits, including two doubles and a triple.
KYLLE CAHILL-PATRAY, OAK HALL: Cahill-Patray, a sophomore catcher, went 7-for-11 last week with five runs scored, six RBI and five doubles.
Athletes of the week are determined by nominations from area coaches. Coaches are asked to call in every Sunday between 4-7 p.m.
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