Several locals make All-State.

By: Chris Manning | Towanda Daily Review | June 28, 2018


It was a strong year on the softball field for area teams, and it shows with a number of selections to this year's PAHSSBCA All-State team.

Three teams had three different girls selected to the all-state team, and six area teams had girls selected.

Three local players earned first-team honors.

Athens' Emma Adams was a first-team outfielder in Class AAAA. Sullivan County's Mykenzie Malacusky was a first-team outfielder in Class A and CV's Madi Lee was a first-team third-baseman in Class A.

Wyalusing's Hailey Jayne, Melody Kneller and Sarah Bird were all-second team picks in Class AA. Bird at shortstop, Kneller at first base and Jayne as a pitcher. CVs Amaya Walker and Karmen Short were second-team picks in Class A with Walker at first base and Short at shorstop and Sullivan County's Jessica King (first base) and Kassandra Houseknecht (cather) were second-team selections.

Towanda's Gabby Slater and North Penn-Liberty's Savanah Doney and Brooke Harvey were all second-team picks in Class AAA. Slater and Doney made it as pitchers and Harvey was a shortstop.

For Malacusky it was special to make the all-state team.

"It's awesome to have made all-state and it's a huge honor as well," she said. "It was a lot of hard work and dedication to make it as far as the team I did this year and I'm very proud of us."

Having two of her teammates also make all-state made things even more special.

"To also have two other teammates make all-state is surreal," she said. "It really shows how much talent is on the team, but there is also a lot of heart as well."

For Adams it's special for the junior to make all-state for the third time in three seasons with the Wildcats.

"It's an honor to make all-state again this year," Adams said. "I would have to say this is the hardest I have ever worked during the off-season, hitting 3-4 times a week, working out at 5 a.m. with my (travel) teammate Wendi Hammond (of Waverly) and making sure to do arm exercises almost every day.

"I am thankful to have the people I did to help me get here because I wouldn't have been able to without them."

Adams hopes that her younger teammates see this and realize what they can do.

"I'm hoping my teammates realize when you put in the extra work, you will stand out and you will see the results. I'd also like to tell them to especially understand that this sport has more failures than successes and those failures shouldn't stop them from trying again and again. I believe so many of my teammates have the ability to make all-state and I would love nothing more than to have some of my teammates on the list with me for my final school ball season."

For Lee, this is her first time making all-state, as a senior, and she's really happy to wind up on the first team.

"Being my senior year and my first time making all-state, it is a very exciting way to finish m high school years," Lee said. "I feel very honored to be selected as all-state, let alone first team. This just goes to show how years of hard work and dedication to something you love can pay off."

Seeing Short and Walker also make all-state made it even more special.

"Having my other two teammates also be honored goes to show just how hard we as a team have worked and improved this year, and being friends on and off the field, I'm so excited and proud of them."

While Jayne makes all-state in her freshman year, she actually had even higher goals for herself.

"I'm a little disappointed in myself that I didn't make first-team all-state, but I am still proud that I made an all-state team," Jayne said. "It took a lot of work this season and I wouldn't have gotten anywhere without my teammates. If I'm being completely honest, my confidence for myself never really is that high, but knowing that as a freshman I made an all-state team will just boost my confidence for the rest of my career."

Two of those teammates also made all-state and Jayne was so happy to see them on the list with her.

"I'm so proud of Melody and Sarah, they have been two of my best teammates I have ever had," Jayne said. "I'm extremely upset that Sarah is leaving for college and I won't have her as my shortstop next year, but she's going to do great things in college and I'm super proud of her.

"As for Melody, I'm so glad that I have another season with her. She's an amazing athlete. She's definitely one of my best friends over this past season and I'm glad I get to play with her again, I'm super proud of them both."

Doney is happy that she was able to earn this honor.

"It feels great to be recognized for all-state," she said. "I've played this sport for a long time, and it makes me feel good to know that my hard work has paid off."

She is excited that Harvey also made it.

"I'm so happy that Brooke also got recognized," Doney said. "I've been playing ball with her for longer than I can remember. She's a key component in my defense and I know I can always count on her to have my back."

Doney hopes that the younger girls on the team see what can be accomplished.

"I feel that this just goes to show that hard work pays off, and can get you far in life," Doney said. "People tend to look at Liberty as just some small school with little to no talent, and they shouldn't. these younger girls can do anything they put their minds to, as long as they're willing to work for it."