Misty Potochnick would rather be talking about preparing for the state championship game, but awards are nice, too.

A week after Ashland was shocked by Century in the second round of the OSAA Class 5A state playoffs, the Grizzlies' head coach had at least something to rally around following the release of the Southern Sky Conference all-star list. Five Grizzlies earned first-team honors, two more were voted onto the second team and Ashland nabbed two of the three major awards, capping a season that included a first-ever conference championship and three wins over defending state champion Crater.

The Comets, who play Glencoe on Saturday in the 5A state championship game, also had five players make the first team and one earn second-team honors in addition to player of the year honoree Emily Merrill. Ashland pitcher Bella Pribyl was voted pitcher of the year and Potochnick was voted coach of the year.

"It's good to get the kids recognized," Potochnick said.

Pribyl, a junior, finished the season with 232 strikeouts and averaged 1.68 walks per seven innings. Her ERA was 1.01 in SSC games and 0.72 overall.

"She developed a little more of a rise ball and a change-up, and I think her confidence has gotten better," Potochnick said of Pribyl, who finished 20-5.

Other first-teamers for Ashland were: senior catcher Kylie Cantrell, junior third baseman Amanda Good, junior shortstop Sara Silbowitz and sophomore outfielder Carley Santee.

Silbowitz had three game-winning hits for the Grizzlies and hit .409 in league games in the leadoff spot &

the best batting average in the SSC. She also had 17 RBIs and a preseason home run.

Cantrell batted .324 in league play and had 13 RBIs and a home run, while Good batted .314 in conference games and finished the season with two home runs and 16 RBIs. She also stole 16 bases. Santee, who batted .242, made the first team mostly on the strength of her defense in the outfield.

"She was one of the top defensive center fielder's in the league," Potochnick said of Santee.

Earning second-team honors for the Grizzlies were Samantha Gilbert, a senior second baseman, and Jubilee Sharpe, a junior outfielder, while sophomore first baseman Hayley Ross was an honorable mention.

Potochnick was disappointed that Gilbert didn't receive enough votes to gain first-team status, but conceded that, "You're not going to get four (infielders) off one team.

"Sammie had a great year for us &

she's had a great four years for us. She had been first-team in the past and she had a chance, but it's hard."

Sharpe batted .333, played outstanding defense and was a terror on the basepaths.

"Every time she got on base she put pressure on defensese," Potochnick said of Sharpe.

Ashland pulled out its last four regular season games in clutch fashion to win the Southern Sky Conference with a 9-3 league record. That earned the Grizzlies first-round bye in the playoffs and a second-round date with Century. The Jaguars beat the odds, however, jumping on the Grizzlies early en route to a 6-4 road win on May 20.

All-Southern Sky Softball

FIRST TEAM

PlayerPos.TeamYr.

Kylie CantrellCAshlandSr.

Bella PribylPAshlandJr.

Brittany ReevesPCraterJr.

Ashley JosephsonIFEagle PointSr.

Amanda GoodIFAshlandJr.

Sara SilbowitzIFAshlandJr.

Ashliegh LarsenIFCraterSr.

Kayla HopkinsonIFCraterSo.

Darian GrigsbyOFMazamaSo.

Carley SanteeOFAshlandSo.

Emily MerrillOFCraterSr.

Amanda BatesOFCraterSr.

Ali EdwardsUTMazamaJr.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR &

Emily Merrill, Crater.

PITCHER OF THE YEAR &

Bella Pribyl, Ashland.

COACH OF THE YEAR &

Misty Potochnick, Ashland.

SECOND TEAM

PlayerPos.TeamYr.

Chelsea WhiteleyCMazamaSr.

Sara HagaCCraterFr.

Karlie StephensPEagle PointJr.

Katie JolliffeIFEagle PointSr.

Mackenzie ReIFEagle PointFr.

Jamie PaxtonIFEagle PointJr.

Samantha GilbertIFAshlandSr.

Jubilee SharpeIFAshlandJr.

Jen FernandezUTEagle PointFr.

HONORABLE MENTION

Breyanna Reed, P, Crater, Sr.; Hayley Ross, IF, Ashland, So.; Kara Perdue, IF, Crater, Sr.; Kelsea MacPhee, OF, Mazama, Fr.; Dennae Grant, OF, Crater, Fr.