Buhler, Schmidt recognized for softball talents
GYPSUM – Summit High School senior Shannon Buhler racked up a long list of thrown-out runners this season as catcher for the Eagle Valley softball team.The senior also tallied the second-most RBIs on the team with 20.
In exchange for a stellar final season in which she was a force at the plate offensively and defensively, Buhler racked up a number of postseason nods once the Devils (18-10) ended their season two weeks ago with a loss to Broomfield. Buhler, who came to Gypsum with senior pitcher Caitlin Schmidt after the Tigers axed their program in August, was selected as a 4A all-state honorable mention and earned co-player of the year in the 4A Western Slope League with Palisade’s Val Cary.Coach Brad Stiles said both honors were well deserved for a player who hit .458 and who repeatedly changed opponents’ baserunning strategies throughout the season. Buhler threw out 14 runners total during the year, nailing 40 percent of those attempting to swipe a base.
“Defensively, people didn’t run on us this year,” Stiles said. “She pretty much shut down the opposing team’s running game. People who were getting on weren’t automatically getting a double. We were getting force outs because of her.””To be named to all-state means a lot my senior year,” Buhler said. “It’s a great honor. It also means that I had a great team behind me.”
Schmidt, meanwhile, picked up an all-league selection after batting .429 and finishing the season as the Devils’ RBI leader with 24. She also finished 10-6 as a starting pitcher with 105 strikeouts. The awards for the two Summit seniors represented a positive end to a season that started out on a low point. The two weren’t faced with favorable options when it became official that their high school wouldn’t field a team due to lack of numbers, but the decision to come to Eagle Valley proved to be mutually beneficial for all parties.”It was a great addition,” Stiles said. “They were both a pleasure to have and to be around. They weren’t vocal leaders because it wasn’t really their team, but both of them were leaders by example.”
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