They are names that are very familiar to anyone who follows York-Adams League softball.
Taylor Rohrbaugh, Hayley Norton, Julia D’Arrigo, Mariah Miller and Cassie Rickrode.
Not surprisingly, when it came time for the league coaches to hand out the top end-of-the season honors, those five players took home the major awards.
While all five enjoyed standout seasons this spring, perhaps the scariest thing about the quintet for the rest of the league is that they’ll all be back next season.
Following is a look at each of the five standouts and what they accomplished in 2013.
Division I Player of the Year, Taylor Rohrbaugh, Central York: Rohrbaugh, a junior who repeats as the Division I Player of the Year, was a dual threat, leading her team in batting while pitching almost every single inning.
While her pitching prowess is still probably her calling card, Central coach Barry Brenneman didn’t want to undersell her potent bat.
“Offensively she led us in most of the categories,” Brenneman said. “So she was a huge part of our offense from the beginning of the season all the way through.”
On the mound it was a similar case. While she was saddled with early-season losses to Dallastown and Red Lion the first time through the divisional schedule, it was her performance against those same clubs the second time around that truly showed her excellence.
“We took some notes about how other pitchers pitched them and used that in my scouting report,” Rohrbaugh said. “We always try to learn from our mistakes and figure out what we did wrong and what we have to change.”
Added Brenneman: “The second Dallastown game was what I thought might have been her best-pitched game of the season.”
Rohrbaugh led the Panthers to Division I title, hitting .576 with 30 RBIs, 16 doubles, four triples and two homers. Her on-base percentage was .641 and her slugging percentage was 1.030. On the mound, she was 13-2 with a 2.78 ERA. In 83 innings, she struck out 98, walked 23 and had eight shutouts.
Division II Player of the Year, Hayley Norton, Spring Grove: While Norton was a nightmare for opponents all year long, Spring Grove coach Mark Hull felt that her leadership was perhaps the biggest thing that stood out to him this year.
“Before we even started the season, Hayley was pretty much one of our leaders,” Hull said of his sophomore standout who led the Rockets to the Division II crown. “She is very upbeat and very positive. She’s a very dedicated softball player.”
Norton’s .603 average topped all players in Division I and Division II this year, while her nine home runs were the most throughout the entire York-Adams League.
“Hayley’s home runs were pretty much over the fence,” Hull said. “She only had one home run, which was at the Big Spring Tournament, that rolled. So all of those home runs were legit. She had some that hit trees (beyond the fence), and most of them weren’t even close.”
Norton gave credit to a change in her approach at the plate for her monster season.
“I just tried to be more relaxed,” she said. “If it’s there, just sit back and hit it. I didn’t want to help the pitcher at all, because that would just hurt myself.”
Norton also scored 36 runs and drove in 27 runs, to go with four doubles and four triples. She also stole 11 bases. Her on-base percentage was .684 and her slugging percentage was 1.222.
Division III Player of the Year, Mariah Miller, Eastern York: Miller a junior, has been a standout with her glove over her past two years at Eastern.
This year, she worked on her batting, which she improved by leaps and bounds, according to Eastern coach Brad Rohrbaugh.
“There have been some things that we’ve worked on with the girls the past couple of years, and Mariah just completely bought into it,” Rohrbaugh said, noting that Miller only hit around .200 last year. “And it just turned her season completely around.”
Miller gave credit to the work she did with her coaches, as well as a couple of other changes of approach at the plate, for her dramatic boost to her offensive performance.
“I shortened up my swing, and that really helped me make contact and drive the ball more,” she said.
The good news for Rohrbaugh is that he figures to have Miller around another year. She helped the Golden Knights to a second-place finish in Division III.
“She’s a player that every coach wishes he had 12 more just like her,” Rohrbaugh said. “And she’s just a great, great student. She’s an A student, and that says a lot about her and about her commitment.”
Miller hit .485 this season with 15 runs scored, 17 RBIs, six doubles, three triples and two homers.
Division III Pitcher of the Year, Julia D’Arrigo, Kennard-Dale: D’Arrigo, a junior, had the difficult task of replacing last year’s Division II Co-Player of the Year, Kennard-Dale’s Desi Joines.
While Joines fanned more than 500 batters during her high school career, K-D coach Gregg Coulton made sure D’Arrigo wasn’t trying to fill her shoes completely.
“We told her that she can’t be Desi Joines,” Coulton said. “You just be Julia D’Arrigo, and she’s had a heck of a year also. If she can keep her walks down, she can be very, very effective.”
Miller, who faced D’Arrigo a couple of times during the regular season, was impressed with the right-hander.
“Her different pitches, and hitting the corners and things like that,” Miller said. “You never knew what she was throwing, so you had to be on your toes against her.”
D’Arrigo finished 12-7 with 128 strikeouts and four shutouts this spring, helping the Rams take the Division III crown. She was also a terror at the plate, hitting .493 with four doubles, two triples and three homers.
Division IV Player of the Year, Cassie Rick rode, Delone Catholic: Rickrode was clearly the most dominant pitcher in Division III and Division IV.
Just a freshman, Rickrode finished the regular season at 13-0 with a 0.25 ERA. She was a big reason why the Squirettes won Division IV and finished the regular season unbeaten.
While Rickrode fanned 65 batters over 69 innings, it wasn’t her hit-and-miss stuff that made her so dominant, according to Delone coach Don Smith.
“The thing is, she throws strikes and makes them put the ball in play,” Smith said.
Rickrode also excelled at the plate, hitting .526, with 13 runs scored, 17 RBIs, four doubles, two triples, one homer, three steals and an .816 slugging percentage.
– Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdis patch.com. All of the statistics provided are for the regular season.