LANCASTER — There were several standout individual performances during the high school softball season, but one stood out above the rest.
Lancaster sophomore Reese Poston had an outstanding season in the circle and at the plate. For her efforts, Poston is the 2022 Eagle-Gazette Softball Player of the Year.
Lancaster’s Allie Kinniard, who guided the Lady Gales to a 25-2 overall record, a 10-0 mark in the Ohio Capital Conference-Buckeye Division, as well as winning a Central District Division I championship, and Lancaster’s first-ever trip to a regional final, is the Eagle-Gazette Softball Coach of the Year.
With Poston leading the way, the Lady Gales finished the regular season ranked No. 2 in the state in the Ohio High School Softball Coaches Association Division I poll.
Poston was able to get it done at the plate and in the circle and seemed to be at her best when the pressure was at its highest. What separates Poston apart from most pitchers is her ability to remain focused and locked in, regardless if something doesn’t go her way.
“When she is in the circle, it is 100 percent focus and if something doesn’t go her way, she does the complete opposite of what most players do,” Kinniard said. “She doesn’t get down on herself, and she uses that as motivation to make herself better.”
Poston was named first team All-Ohio, first team All-District and first team All-OCC. She pitched 100.1 innings and had 172 strikeouts and finished with an outstanding 1.32 ERA. At the plate, she batted .321 with 26 hits, including seven doubles and six home runs.
Poston fired a two-hitter and struck out 10 in a district final win over Olentangy Orange, and then followed it up with a 1-0 win over Gahanna in a regional semifinal win, which saw her hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh inning. She limited the Lions to only two hits.
“Reese is the biggest competitor on this team,” Kinniard said. “When we get to the ballpark, she is ready to go, and 100 percent focused and locked in. She is very disciplined in everything she does, whether it is hitting or pitching. I cannot put into words how special that type of player is.”
Eagle-Gazette All-Area Softball Team
Player of the Year: Reese Poston, Lancaster
Coach of the Year: Allie Kinniard, Lancaster
REESE POSTON, Lancaster
LEXI PAULSEN, Bloom-Carroll
BAYLEE MIRGON, Berne Union
ADDISON STEM, Fairfield Christian
ANNABELLE FARMER, Lancaster
REESE PITTMAN, Bloom-Carroll
ABBI HINTZ, Berne Union
ASHLIN MOWERY, Lancaster
SKYLAR SMITH, Lancaster
MADISON CLAUSS, Fairfield Christian
MORGAN WOLFE, Fairfield Union
HANNAH BROWN, Berne Union
RYLAN BROWN, Lancaster
MEGAN TOOILL, Amanda-Clearcreek
MADI GREFE, Bloom-Carroll
JESSIE SPURLING, Lancaster
NEVAEH SMITH, Fairfield Union
MADYSON REDINGER, Berne Union
EMMA SMELTZER, Fairfield Union
MCKENZIE SAGER, Millersport
ALEE BRUNTY, Liberty Union
ALEXA LUKE, Bloom-Carroll
VANESSA FUNK, Fisher Catholic
CLAIRE WHITCRAFT, Bloom-Carroll
Zhari Hill and Lily Stoughton, Lancaster; Sophia Gleim, Bloom-Carroll; Josilyn Hedges and Ava Grace Hintz, Berne Union; Caitlyn Blair, Fairfield Christian; Peyton Hochradel, Liberty Union; Kaylee Emswiller, Fairfield Union; Carly Singleton and Keirsten Williams, Amanda-Clearcreek; Jayda Dixon, Fisher Catholic; Alexis Barch and Emily Blevins, Millersport.
Tom Wilson is a sports reporter for the Lancaster Eagle Gazette. Contact him at 740-689-5150 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for comments or story tips. Follow him on Twitter @twil2323.
This article originally appeared on Lancaster Eagle-Gazette: All-Area Softball: Reese Poston named Eagle-Gazette Softball Player of the Year