The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Local Sports

July 3, 2009

In a class by herself

(Continued)

Added Bostelman: "A lot of kids would come into third and hold, but I give the opportunity to freelance on the bases and she can make things happen."

Winans makes things happen year-round, too.

In addition to competing for the Conklin Raiders travel softball team during the summer and fall, Winans also plays field hockey and was a sixth-team all-state selection in basketball this past season.

"I think being active and to keep playing sports is important," said Winans, who also had seven triples, three doubles and 44 runs this past season. "I'm always outside and I'm always playing sports with my brothers. It's nice to not be a one-sport person."

As for Afton's title this season, this didn't appear to be the year its seven-year state-championship drought would end.

Pitcher Morgan Muller, now playing for Oneonta State, graduated in 2008 after leading the Crimson Knights to three straight appearances in the Class D finals.

Ashley Winans, a first baseman last season, stepped in and went 23-2 with 248 strikeouts and 45 walks to earn her second straight Daily Star First Team All-Star honor.

Winans' biggest performance came in a 1-0 state quarterfinal victory over Section Three champion Stockbridge Valley. She struck out 13 and walked none in a one-hitter.

"At one time in the season, she came to me and said, Why don't we let the younger kid (seventh-grader Payton Cutting) pitch?'" Bostelman said of Ashley Winans. "She came back the next day and said, I'll give it a shot and see what I can do.'"

With Jessie Winans and fellow first-teamers Jennifer Boudreau (senior center fielder), Stephanie Parsons (junior second baseman) and Stephanie Sherman (junior left fielder) leading the way, Afton outscored seven postseason opponents, 59-11.

"It wasn't that we had more talent (than previous years), it was the way they came together," said Bostelman, who earned her 11th Daily Star coaching honor. "That's a lot of the game. You have to make due with what you've got. Whatever I have, that's what I have. You have to make it work, like a puzzle. You have to make sure everything fits. This group came together at the perfect time."

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