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Metro Detroit

July 31, 2013

Local players share experience from All-Star softball games

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Farmington Mercy senior Jacquelyn Murphy runs off the field during the 2013 MHSSCA Division 1 All-Star softball game, played July 24 at Michigan State University. Murphy will play at the Loyola University Chicago next spring.
Meet the All-Stars

The C & G coverage area was well-represented in the 2013 MHSSCA All-Star Softball games.

Division 1
• Bre Polcyn – Rochester Adams
• Sarah Gutknecht – Farmington
• Megan Downey – Macomb Dakota
• Jacquelyn Murphy – Farmington Hills Mercy
• Taylor Moceri – Sterling Heights Stevenson
• Andrea Denewith – Stevenson
• Morghan Cracchiolo – Regina
• Alyssa Huntley – Stevenson

Division 4
• Julia DeRoo – Grosse Pointe University Liggett
• Courtney Slabaugh – Liggett
• Amber Baldwin – Liggett
• Leanne Krick – Southfield Christian
• Tayler Swarts – Sterling Heights Parkway Christian

EAST LANSING — Sterling Heights Stevenson senior pitcher Alyssa Huntley said her experience at the 2013 Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association Division 1 All-Star Softball Game came with something very unexpected.

“It’s fun,” said Huntley, who earned 2013 MHSSCA Miss Softball honors. “You get to be friends with some of your enemies. You’re on a team with girls from Dakota and other schools in our league, and it’s awesome.”

Division 1-4 All-Star games were played July 24 at Secchia Stadium at Michigan State University. Teams were split into “Red” and “White” squads. The C & G coverage area was well-represented, with 13 players on the D-1 and D-4 teams.

Huntley, named the 2013 Gatorade Michigan Softball Player of the Year, wasn’t alone at the D-1 All-Star game. Titans seniors Taylor Moceri and Andrea Denewith, who will play collegiately at Saginaw Valley State University and Oakland Community College, respectively, were also named to the D-1 “White” team.

Stevenson coach Tony Misuraca was tapped to coach the D-1 White squad. He said it was an honor to be selected by the MHSSCA.

“I’m really happy they asked, because it’s been a lot of fun being around these young ladies,” said Misuraca, who led the Titans to back-to-back Macomb Area Conference Red Division titles.

“We have three Stevenson girls, and another from Anchor Bay and one from Dakota, but the rest are from other parts of the state, and they’re all so talented. They just love the game, and you can see it. Most of them are going to be playing in college next year. It’s special.”

It was also special for Misuraca to be able to coach three of his players one last time. He said that was the first thought in his mind when he was named coach of the D-1 white team.

Farmington High senior Sarah Gutknecht, who had three hits and helped lead the Red squad to a 4-0 victory, was the only representative from her school, but the four-year starter, who played shortstop and third base, said she was able to build a bond with players from other schools.

Gutknecht was a little overwhelmed by the experience, since the game was played on the field she will rove next spring as a freshman on the Michigan State softball team.

“It’s really exciting representing my high school, but playing on my college field, so it’s fun,” said Gutknecht, who played for the Red team in the D-1 game.

Warren Regina senior Morghan Cracchiolo, playing for the White team in the D-1 game, is a four-year starter for the Saddlelites. She said she hopes to walk on at Michigan State.

“It feels pretty good playing on this field. I feel like I belong here,” Cracchiolo said. “I was going to go to Macomb (Community College), but I always wanted to go to (MSU), so it’s good to be here playing on this field today.”

Farmington Hills Mercy senior Jacquelyn Murphy, who hit .427 last year, said the girls took the opportunity to get to know one another during some down time July 23. She said the experience is similar to what she’ll face in the fall as a freshman at Loyola University of Chicago.

“I’m really glad I got the opportunity to come here, because I got to know so much about some of these girls,” said Murphy, a second baseman and pitcher who will play at Loyola. “On the way here, we were talking about how being here makes us so excited to go to college and play in this type of atmosphere.”

“All these girls are going to be college athletes,” Huntley said. “It’s fun to be here and play against the best.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jason Carmel Davis at jdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1107. Twitter Follow Jason on Twitter.