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Hailey Golden of Pearland Softball
The south Houston area is loaded with talented athletes who give it their all in their respective fields of play.
Welcome to the VYPE Playmakers powered by UTMB Health, where we’re highlighting five standouts from the previous week who stole the headlines.
Here are the UTMB Athletes of the Week.
Juan De Leon (VYPE)
As expected, Barbers Hill was a force to be reckoned with in Texas high school softball this Spring. Eagles ace, sophomore RHP Hailey Nutter was a big reason for that.
Her precision and prowess on the mound was enough to stifle the best of them, which gave other playmakers--Reagan Duty (Sr. IF), Sophie Naivar (Sr. OF), Brookelyn Livanec (Sr. OF), and senior IF KateLynn Cooper--plenty of opportunities to light up the scoreboard.
Nutter earned her second-consecutive District 17-5A MVP nod for her efforts. Count on Nutter and the District Defensive POTY selection, Peyton Helmly (So. C), to be the faces of the franchise moving forward.
Bradley C. Collier (VYPE)
Prior to the season, it was no secret that senior 3B Boots Landry was as heavy-hitter on the diamond.
As one of the captains on Friendswood’s stellar roster, featuring the likes of fellow stars--Easton Tumis (Sr. P), Kyle Lockhart (Jr. UTL), Dane Perry (So. C), and junior OF Peyton Adams--it can be difficult to stand out.
But Landry had no trouble flourishing to help lead his team back to the postseason, while being named District 18-5A MVP in the process.
Now that he has graduated, Landry will soon be taking his talents to College Station, where he will play for Texas A&M in the ensuing season.
Matthew Ogle (VYPE)
The Lady Oilers became state champions for the first time since 2010, marking the third time Pearland has been crowned. This was thanks in large part to senior OF Hailey Golden, who played a key role in accomplishing this feat.
Golden went 3-for-4 in the championship game against Denton Guyer, while driving in two runs to help lead Pearland to a 4-2 victory at McCombs Field in Austin.
For her standout performance, Golden was named the Class 6A State Final MVP to cap off her high school career, before moving on to Texas A&M in the coming months.
Like so many on this list, standing out among the vast array of next-level talent is easier said than done. But, Janelle Wilson (Sr. P/IF) saw to it that her final season with Friendswood would be her finest.
Wilson led the Mustangs to another trip to the postseason, in which they advanced three rounds deep. As the team’s ace, she maintained an ERA of 0.60 with nearly 250 strikeouts, and an exceptional performance at-bat (.300 BA, 24 RBI, 3 HR) throughout the season.
Given the impressive statline and presence she brought to the diamond, Wilson earned District 18-5A MVP honors before moving on to UNC this upcoming Fall.
Photo taken by Lloyd Hendricks (Hendricks Rockography)
Provided by Nico Partida (Twitter: @partidanico1)
Given the superfluous amount of talent on coach David Rogers’ roster, it’s truly remarkable how much sophomore right-hander Nico Partida stood out for Pearland this year.
Partida showcased experience beyond his years as one of the starters for the Oilers, earning him the title of All-District Co-MVP.
Furthermore, he was a major contributor in Pearland’s 11-1 win against Westlake in the State Semis--allowing just one earned run, with two strikeouts, and an RBI at-bat.
Magnolia West's Jackson Blank
After another weekend of playoff baseball has come and gone, the stage has been set for some of the best in H-Town to battle it out on the diamond in Round No. 3.
The Regional Quarterfinals will feature several enticing matchups, such as Friendswood v. Barbers Hill, which could very well shape the remainder of the postseason.
What more could a sports fan ask for?
Here are some of the most anticipated playoff series of the week.
2022-23 Friendswood Baseball
2022-23 Regular Season: 24-4-2/District 18-5A Champions
Head Coach: Robert Benavides
Barbers Hill Eagles
2022-23 Regular Season: 21-10-1/District 17-5A Champions
Head Coach: David Denny
This past week's trouncing over the Milby Buffs was business as usual for Friendswood.
Easton Tumis was a force on the mound in game one, limiting Milby to just one run, while the Mustangs lineup--namely Boots Landry (Sr. 1B), Ayden Pearcy (Jr. 3B), sophomore C/IF Dane Perry, and more--enjoyed consecutive field days during their 26-run scoring-barrage.
Given the fact that anyone on this lineup can step up when necessary, paired with their relentless bullpen, Friendswood is one of the most difficult ball clubs in the state to prepare for.
That being said, Barbers Hill has the potential to give the Mustangs a run for their money.
After earning two hard-fought wins against a serious contender like Foster, it would be unwise to underestimate the Eagles as they fight for a trip to the Regional Tournament.
2022-23 Barbers Hill Baseball
2022-23 Lake Creek Baseball
Lake Creek Lions
2022-23 Regular Season: 20-9/Finished 2nd in District 21-5A
Head Coach: Jeremy Schramm
2022-23 Regular Season: 19-12-1/District 23-6A Champions
Head Coach: Jordan Vierra
Yet another strong outing was made by the Lake Creek ball club, in the Area Round.
The Liosn bullpen continues to look impenetrable, which was evidenced by the minuscule offensive success allowed to McCallum.
Senior Weston Moss had a respectable opener against the Austin team, limiting them to just one run on the night while throwing four Ks. The subsequent start was taken to another level, as Jackson Wilkerson (Sr. LHP) sat down ten batters in the process of completing a shutout victory.
In addition to their shutdown defensive effort, Lake Creek's batters were at the top of their game. Sam Lee (Jr. OF) tallied four base-hits in the series with two RBIs, while junior MIF Austin Wiederhold's performance in Game No. 2 (3-3, 2B, RBI) was one of definitive factors that led to the Lions sweep over the Knights.
Lake Creek will be in top form to take on Georgetown this week, with Mumford High School being the venue.
2022-23 Magnolia West Baseball
Magnolia West Mustangs
2022-23 Regular Season: 24-4/District 21-5A Champions
Head Coach: Travis Earles
Lake Belton Broncos
2022-23 Regular Season: 24-6/District 22-5A Champions
Head Coach: Chris Peacock
The Mag West hype train keeps rolling after outclassing Pflugerville in the Area Round.
Coach Travis Earles continues to optimize his lineup through his first year on the job, and it can't hurt to have one of the most complete rosters around.
Following their 6-3 win in the opener, the Mustangs really got their chance to shine in game two, which was ironic considering the lightning storms that delayed the exhibition two hours.
Despite the conditions, Mag West proceeded to send Pflugerville home, courtesy of a complete game shutout thrown by senior RHP Caylon Dygert, who tacked on seven strikeouts for good measure.
Jackson Blank (Sr. OF/P) ignited the Mustang offense, accruing four RBIs off of two hits, while junior SS Dawson Park racked up three hits from the leadoff spot.
At minimum, Magnolia West is in pursuit of the reaching the Regional Finals for the first time since 2019. The next obstacle standing in their way is Lake Belton.
2022-23 Fulshear Baseball
2022-23 Regular Season: 22-8-1/District 20-5A Champions
Head Coach: Robb Jensen
La Porte Bulldogs
2022-23 Regular Season: 22-8-1/Finished 2nd in District 18-5A
Head Coach: Ricky Torres
Fulshear showcased their longevity against an emboldened Crosby team.
Despite narrowly dropping the series opener, the Chargers came back in full force to take game two, thanks to an inspired outing by senior RHP Tyler Schumann (1 ER, 7 K) to tie the series at a game a piece.
The finale was a sheer test of will, one in which the Lamar CISD ball club emerged victorious in a one-score game.
La Porte, on the other hand, seemingly breezed past Waltrip to earn their spot in the Regional Quarterfinals.
The Bulldogs hitting was like clockwork last week. With some of their top batters--Dagoberto Garcia (Sr. OF), Landon Kay (Jr. OF), and senior OF/P Diego Luzardo being among them--anchoring the offense, La Porte's pitching could thrive without too much pressure.
La Porte will look to maintain their momentum when they face off against Fulshear, starting this Thursday at C.E. King High School.
Some of the stars of 2022-23 La Porte Baseball