Brookfield puts three players on NOW All-Suburban team
Hanson, Sobrilsky, Megal lead softball selections
There was plenty of variety and talent from the three Brookfield players on the 2012 NOW Newspapers All-Suburban Softball Team.
You want a solid pitcher, who can also be the key hitter on your team and play a mean first base? Meet Becky Hanson, a senior from Brookfield East.
You want a catcher with a cannon for an arm and big time home run power? Then Brookfield Central junior Carly Sobrilsky fills the bill.
How about a speedy leadoff hitter, who knows how to get on base, knows who to steal off of when she gets there and, defensively, is a gem in the outfield? Then you are talking about Brookfield East freshman Emma Megal.
Here's a closer look at each based on seniority.
The versatile Hanson made honorable mention all-district as a utility player as well as being a member of the all-Greater Metro Conference team for the third straight season. She was a second-team choice as an infielder as a sophomore, first-team as a junior as a utility/designated hitter and first-team as a utility player this past season.
Hanson, who was East's MVP, batted .488 with 26 runs scored, 11 extra-base hits (three doubles, four triples and four home runs) and 38 RBIs. She had a .536 on-base percentage and an .884 slugging mark while only striking out twice all season.
In 121 field chances, she had 20 assists, five errors and a .959 fielding percentage. She compiled a 9-2 record with a save and a 1.87 ERA. She fanned 105 batters in 84 innings, an average of 8.8 strikeouts per seven innings. She allowed 70 hits and 21 walks and finished her career with a 16-5 record and a 2.05 ERA.
"Becky was a team leader," East coach Rich Anderson said. "She really came on as a pitcher this year and dominated her opponents."
Hanson was thrilled with her selection.
"It was a real honor that they would pick me out of all those people," she said modestly. "Overall, I was happy. I felt I had more homers to hit, more strikes to throw, but I was happy with it."
One of her biggest memories on the field was the Spartans' 4-1 win over eventual-GMC champion, Menomonee Falls, on April 30.
"Beating Falls this year (was great)," Hanson said. "We haven't done that in over five years."
Hanson, who at one point hit three homers in three games, enjoys being in control on the mound.
"Part of pitching that I enjoyed was that you controlled the game," she said. "You do what you want to do when you want to do."
Hanson, who plays with the Pride of the Midwest summer team with Sobrilsky, will take her talents to St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minn., this fall. She plans on majoring in nursing with a Spanish minor.
This young lady could be the best high school catcher I have seen in 10 years. She blocks the plate well and has a cannon for a right arm. She threw out 11 runners, but kept a lot more base runners from even trying to steal because of her ability to pick runners off at first base.
"I just try to keep them honest," Sobrilsky said. "I like to keep them guessing. It's just instinct (knowing when they're running). It's the best feeling (when she throws out a runner).
After being forced to play third base last season when the former coach didn't give her an opportunity and stayed loyal to her regular catcher, Sobrilsky was more comfortable behind the plate this year.
"It's more natural for me to be catching, to be back home, running the game, staying in charge and touching the ball all the time," Sobrilsky said.
But her defense is not even her most impressive talent.
As a hitter, she has tremendous power, especially hitting the ball hard to right-center. She batted .500 with an .878 slugging percentage, eight homers - all over the fence - 28 RBIs and 28 runs scored.
She was a first-team all-GMC choice. A team captain as a junior, her leadership was one of the main reasons the Lancers were 12-10 and 8-6 in the conference with eight sophomores and three freshmen on the team.
Sobrilsky said her power to right-center is not an accident.
"A lot of time I get yelled at for pulling the ball," she said. "I wait for the ball to get deeper in the zone. I wait for that pitch. Then I swing hard for every pitch and try to get on base."
With so many young players on the roster, Sobrilsky was looked at to carry the offensive load by first-year coach Doug Lange.
"It's a really good feeling, helping the team," Sobrilsky said. "I didn't feel a lot of pressure. I had confidence in our team. As the games went on, the kids got better. They were on the varsity for a reason and they went out and proved it. I'm excited for next year."
When he nominated Sobrilsky for the NOW All-Suburban team, Lange got right to the point.
"Carly Sobrilsky is the NOW All-Suburban catcher," he said.
If you don't enjoy watching Emma Megal play softball, I would have to question your ability to judge talent. What makes Megal even more amazing is all that talent is packaged in a 5-foot-1 inch frame.
"It's my height and I can't change it," she said.
Megal, an honorable mention all-district choice and a first-team all-GMC selection, is an excellent outfielder, as she had 13 putouts, one assist and only one error in 26 chances, good for a .962 fielding mark.
While Hanson might be the drink for the Spartans, Megal is the straw that stirs it, getting things started from her leadoff spot and then becoming a terror on the bases.
She batted .464 with a .562 OBP and an amazing .774 slugging mark.
She scored 39 runs, had 16 extra-base hits (eight doubles, six triples and two homers). In the playoff game against Central, she nailed a ball into a strong win which should have been an out-of-the-park homer. But it hit inches from the top of the fence.
She is also a spectacular base runner, stealing 18-of-19 bases (.947 success rate). She also walked 19 times, which is like a double with her base-stealing skills, while only striking out four times.
"Love to use it on the bases," Megal said of her speed, "and in center field it helps. I am very competitive and serious. Sometimes I overreact a little, but I play to win."
Anderson is thrilled to have Megal on his team for three more years.
"Emma has a chance of being a very special player," he said. "She is a rare player who has tremendous power and great speed. She goes 100 percent all the time. And she has a fabulous attitude."
Megal was shocked to receive the NOW All-Suburban honor.
"I really couldn't believe it," she said. "I never thought I would be picked. I'm honored."
While she's only a freshman, Megal isn't afraid of being an on-field leader.
"During the game, I like being the leader with my offensive game," she said. "But off the field, I keep to myself more."
Megal, who works on softball year-around, plays with the Pride of the Midwest U14 team in the summer.
East senior Amanda Kalupa (pitcher)
East senior Kelsey Smith (infield)
Central's Doug Lange
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