HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
McGill's success rubs off on Blue Wave mates
Published: Sunday, March 24, 2013 at 10:18 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, March 24, 2013 at 10:18 p.m.
In the midst of a seven-game winning streak, P.K. Yonge coach Paul Silverman does not need to look far from his dugout to find the source of his team's recent success.
According to Silverman, it all starts in the pitcher's circle with junior right-hander Kalen McGill.
Last week, McGill pushed the Blue Wave's overall record to 18-2 by posting three shutout victories against Columbia, Fort White and District 3-3A rival Oak Hall. She also struck out a total of 19 batters and allowed just seven hits in the three-game span.
“She is critical,” Silverman said. “We've got to back her up with some defense and timely hitting, but when you've got a pitcher like that, there's no game that you can't win.”
With just one senior on P.K. Yonge's roster this season — outfielder Katie O'Dell — Silverman said McGill's recent hot hand on the mound has provided a psychological boost to his young team.
The Blue Wave outscored their opponents 27-0 last week, as McGill pitched consecutive 3-hitters against Columbia on Tuesday and Fort White on Thursday. She then capped her week with a five-inning 1-hitter in Friday's 10-0 win at Oak Hall.
“The rest of the team feels they can beat any team we play, and a large part of that is because we have Kalen in the circle,” Silverman said.
When she's not harassing opposing hitters, McGill has also shown this season she can be an effective contributor at the plate.
In Tuesday's 6-0 win over the Tigers, McGill hit her fifth home run of the year, followed on Thursday by a 2-for-2 effort with a pair of RBIs to lead P.K. Yonge past the Indians, 11-0.
“[Kalen] has really improved,” Silverman said. “She's a very strong, powerful hitter. She hits right there in the middle of our lineup; she's our cleanup hitter. We rely on her not just for her pitching, but we rely on her for RBIs, as well.”
TYLER BEAUCHAMP, BRONSON:Beauchamp, a junior utility player, went 3-for-4 at the plate in two district games last week for the Eagles with four runs scored and five stolen bases. On Monday, he pitched a complete game in Bronson's 9-1 win against Cedar Key, allowing one run on five hits and striking out eight.
LANDON ROGERS, EASTSIDE: The sophomore midfielder scored a combined four goals and one assist in the Rams' two losses last week to Ocala Trinity Catholic and Jacksonville Atlantic Coast.
MOLLY MULDOON, OAK HALL: The senior attacker scored twice and had three assists last Tuesday in the Eagles' 21-9 win over Buchholz. On Saturday, Muldoon paced Oak Hall with three goals and four assists in an 18-14 loss to Lake Worth Park Vista.
KATIE GRACE OLINGER, OAK HALL: Olinger, an eighth grader, struck out 18 batters and compiled a 3.11 ERA in three appearances last week for the Eagles. At the plate, she went 3-for-10 with three runs and a pair of RBIs.
Track and field
JOSEPH JANSON, P.K. YONGE: The junior long-distance specialist won the 1,600-meter run at last Wednesday's Alachua County Championships with a time of 4:40. Janson also competed at the FSU Relays on Saturday in Tallahassee and posted personal-best efforts in two consolation races. He placed fourth in the 3,200-meter run with a 9:48.77 and 21st in the 1,600-meter race with a final time of 4:34.33.
CORBIN WIGGINS, TRENTON: A senior pitcher, Wiggins earned his fifth win of the season last Thursday after throwing 3 1/3 innings and allowing just three hits in the Tigers' 7-2 win at Newberry. Wiggins struck out one batter, as well.
STEPHEN SMITH, TRENTON: The junior shortstop went a combined 3-for-8 with five runs and two RBIs in wins over Newberry and Branford last week. Smith also stole three bases to help improve the Tigers' record to 13-0.
MASON YONGE, OAK HALL: A seventh-grader, Yonge helped lead the Eagles midfield with six goals and two assists over a two-game span last week. In a 21-9 win against Buchholz on Tuesday, Yonge enjoyed a breakout performance, scoring five goals and dishing an assist.
Track and field
GARRETT WESTLAKE, P.K. YONGE: The Blue Wave's senior team captain, Westlake won a county championship Wednesday at Oak Hall with a season-best 9:51.18 in the 3,200-meter run.
TAYLOR GETMAN, OAK HALL: The sixth-grade shortstop led the Eagles' hitters last week with a 5-for-10 effort over three games with three RBIs and three runs scored.
Athletes of the week are determined by nominations from area coaches. Coaches are asked to call in every Sunday between 4-7 p.m.