Your password needs to be at least 8 characters and one number.
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.
2022-23 Magnolia West Baseball
Magnolia West is on the precipice of making history.
In their first appearance at the State Tournament, the Mustangs defeated Frisco Reedy 3-0 at the Dell Diamond in Round Rock, TX.
Had it not been for an unlucky single, with two outs in the seventh, senior RHP James Ellwanger would have secured a no-hitter in the Class 5A semifinal.
However, the Dallas Baptist-signee’s electrifying performance on the mound featured 17 strikeouts, which was the key factor that punched Mag West’s ticket to the season finale.
Sr. RHP James Ellwanger of Mag West BaseballJuan De Leon (VYPE)
“He [Ellwanger] was upset about that [narrowly missing out on a no-hitter], but he gave us a chance to win, which is what it’s all about,” said coach Travis Earles. “17 Ks is nothing to sneeze at, but he’s such a competitive kid and he wanted it. He understands that the goal is to win though, and he accomplished that goal.”
Fortunately for Mag West, they didn’t have to play in the Final today, given that the 6A Semis are taking place. What has the team been up to, as they prepare to take on Argyle in the UIL-5A state championship, tomorrow at noon.
“We went to a local high school this morning, so that the team can practice and stay fresh,” Earles said. “We got them fed and we came back up to the stadium to watch some baseball. Later on, we’ll have a nice sit-down meal with the team, get them rested back at the hotel, and we’ll be packed up and ready to roll in the morning.”
The Mag West “Dirt Boys” have had quite the entourage throughout the postseason. Tomorrow’s game will be no different.
“We travel heavy here at Magnolia,” said Earles. “It seems like the whole town is up here. I don’t know who else is left there, to be honest–maybe they closed down some restaurants. But, our support from the community has been outstanding, and we hope we can finish it off for them.”
For Earles, this is his first year as the Mag West head coach, and he has already led the team to the furthest point in school history.
For the seniors, this is likely the last game they will play alongside one another, which Earles acknowledged has been recognized in their final push for a championship.
“It’s a bittersweet moment and our guys will try to enjoy that while we compete, but we all know that it’s kind of coming to an end, so it can be a tough time,” he said. “But, our guys are on a mission--it’s like a business-trip mentality since we’ve shown up. We’ll worry about all that other stuff once we take care of business.”