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home : sports : sports August 19, 2014

6/4/2013 2:10:00 PM
Nieri named first-team Sky-Em League all-star
Taylor Nieri earned top honors as a softball player. photo by Jerry Baldock
+ click to enlarge
Taylor Nieri earned top honors as a softball player. photo by Jerry Baldock

By Tom Mauldin

Senior Taylor Nieri was named first-team Sky-Em League all-star when the league's softball coaches selected their all-league squad for the 2013 season.

Nieri, chosen as a first-team infielder on this year's honors squad, was the lone Outlaw to receive first-team recognition.

Awards are nothing new for Nieri. She has received all-league recognition for softball three times (two first-team honors) and for basketball four times (three first-team, one honorable mention). She was also the Sky-Em League's Player of the Year for basketball last fall and was honored second-team 4A All-State. In 2011, she was third-team 4A all-state softball. 

The 2013 All-State 4A softball team will be announced in mid-June. 

The fact that Nieri even played softball as a senior is an accomplishment in itself. For two years, she has been dealing with chronic back and neck pain which causes her frequent migraines. She was advised by her doctors to "take the (softball) season off," said Outlaw Coach Ben Miller.

"She's a competitor and she wanted to help her teammates," said Miller. "Seeing how much pain she was in made it difficult, but she wanted to play. She's a great competitor."

During her Outlaw softball varsity career, Nieri played every position but first base. Primarily playing shortstop, she played a key role this season (18-7 overall) as the Outlaws finished second in the Sky-Em League (11-4) and qualified for the state playoffs. 

For the 2013 season, Nieri batted .311, scored 20 runs, drove in 15 and stole a dozen bases.

Miller said "Nieri is one tough cookie, and helped the team to a great season. It has been a pleasure to coach her and know her for the past three years. Taylor is an honor student with academic scholarships."

Sky-Em League champion Elmira had eight players receive all-league honors, including senior outfielder Jessica Lay, who was chosen the Player of the Year; and junior Cierra Woods, who was co-Pitcher of the Year with Junction City junior Megan Devorak.

Lay led all Sky-Em League players with 13 doubles, an .888 slugging percentage and 37 RBI.

In addition to Nieri, the Outlaws had six other players earn All-League honors:

• Senior Cassidy Edwards was named second-team pitcher. She was 18-7 with 235 strikeouts and an 0.91 ERA for the 2013 season. She also batted a team-high .553, scored 41 runs and drove

in 22.

• Senior Lauren Cantwell was named second-team catcher. She batted .337 and drove in 11 runs.

• Senior Tiffani Milliman, who played first for the Outlaws, was named to the all-Sky-Em League's second team after batting .215 and driving in a dozen runs.

• Senior Harley Rowe was named second-team utility after batting .299 and driving in 15 runs. She also pitched this season.

• Sophomore Boston Moore batted .205 and was named second-team all-league outfielder.

• Freshman Madison Edwards was named second-team all-league infielder after batting .261 and driving in a dozen runs.

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