Mercy softball trio earns all-State honors

By: Jonathan Szczepaniak | Farmington Press | Published July 21, 2023

 Farmington Hills Mercy junior Kat Burras makes a throw  during a team practice with sophomore Kaitlyn Pallozzi pictured  in the background.

Farmington Hills Mercy junior Kat Burras makes a throw during a team practice with sophomore Kaitlyn Pallozzi pictured in the background.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

 Mercy senior Izzy Chaput looks  to make a play during a team practice.

Mercy senior Izzy Chaput looks to make a play during a team practice.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


FARMINGTON HILLS — Following a district title-winning season for Farmington Hills Mercy softball, the awards kept on coming for the Marlins at the end of the year.

The Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association honored senior outfielder Izzy Chaput and sophomore pitcher Kaitlyn Pallozzi with Division 1 first team all-State honors while junior catcher Kat Burras earned all-State honorable mention. Chaput and Pallozzi earned MLive’s Metro Detroit Dream Team honors as well.

Chaput, who is committed to Sacred Heart University for hockey, is no stranger to the all-State list after making first team in 2022 with a .538 batting average and 21 stolen bases, and made another strong case after an impressive showing this season. Most memorably this season for Chaput, she was able to share the field with her younger sister, freshman outfielder Sophia Chaput.

“It was our only year ever together, so it was pretty special,” Chaput said. “We wish we could’ve won it all together, but, hopefully, she can pull it out the next three years.”

Chaput carried an offensive slash line of .485/.554/.742 with a 1.296 OPS (on-base plus slugging), 47 hits (team high), 12 doubles and 16 stolen bases.

A dominant hitter the past three seasons for Mercy, Mercy coach Corey Burras said Chaput’s determination is what separates her from the rest.

“Her work ethic and her drive to be successful and competitive — I haven’t seen anyone more competitive and willing to buy into that competitive process than her,” Burras said. “She wants to work hard every day as an opportunity to get better.”

As dominant as Chaput was at the plate, Pallozzi was equally as impressive on the mound with one of the strongest seasons from a Marlins’ pitcher in school history.

Pallozzi was superb as a freshman in 2022 with a 12-1 record and a 1.08 ERA (earned run average), but she left no doubt in her sophomore season for the all-State voters.

Holding a 0.00 ERA over 96 innings of work, Pallozzi tallied a 16-1 record with 245 strikeouts and allowed only 12 hits all season.

Pallozzi said improvements with her arsenal led to her success on the mound this season.

“I got stronger and picked up some speed across the board, but my changeup has really improved,” Pallozzi said. “I’ve been able to use it more consistently to help keep hitters off balance.”

While her all-State honor was for her pitching performance, Pallozzi put on what could’ve been an all-State performance at the plate as well with a .451 average and a 1.259 OPS.

Just across from Pallozzi, Kat Burras was an elite field general behind the plate for the third-straight season for Mercy.

“She’s been working at this for years,” Corey Burras said. “It’s her passion. She’s really stepped up as a leader and really stepped up in her consistencies with her power and her contact. She called 98% of the pitches with our pitchers this year, so she understands strategies. She understands the game. She understands the psychology in what her pitchers need. She’s our field general.”

Burras held an offensive slash line of .476/.511/.720 with a 1.231 OPS, 39 hits and 12 doubles on the year.

She’s been a consistent contributor at the plate throughout her career at Mercy, but there was a minor dropoff from her freshman to sophomore year. Her average dipped from .406 to .312, and her OPS from .972 to .774, and Burras said she wasn’t going to let that happen again.

“This year, I focused a lot on my hitting,” Burras said. “I spent my free days during the offseason hitting in the cages and working on my fundamentals. This season, I didn’t hit entirely for power but rather for the success of our team and for the overall outcomes of our games.”

Mercy had plenty of success this season behind Burras, Pallozzi and Chaput, and they’ll look to carry it over next season with Burras taking over the senior leadership role alongside Sophia Paluk and Asia Barbato.

“I am confident that we will have another competitive season,” Kat Burras said. “Although we suffered some big losses in our senior class, our upcoming senior, junior and sophomore class is extremely strong. Skill wise, I have no doubt that we will succeed because of the passion that we hold for this game.”