Star takes 'team' approach to heart|Unselfish Elizabeth Ange tabbed the 2009 WDN Softball Player of the Year

Published 4:11 am Friday, June 26, 2009

Sports Editor

JAMESVILLE — After spending three years being a dominant pitcher for the Jamesville Bullets, senior Elizabeth Ange was prepared to end her high school career on the mound. However, coach Richie Ange had other plans after the team got off to a sluggish start.
The Jamesville coach asked his star pitcher and lone senior to move to shortstop for the betterment of the team, and the unselfish Bullet didn’t bat an eye.
Elizabeth Ange made the switch to shortstop, and the move paid off handsomely. Her “team-first” approach helped lead the Bullets to the state championship games at Walnut Creek, where the Bullets finished in the top four of the state.
“I love pitching, but shortstop is fun, too,” Elizabeth Ange said. “I wanted to do whatever was good for the team. I just wanted to win.”
Because of her attitude, and her solid season at shortstop and in the batter’s box, Elizabeth Ange was tabbed the 2009 WDN Softball Player of the Year.
“I’m excited about it,” Elizabeth Ange said. “I was surprised because there are so many good athletes.”
The senior hit .365 on the year. Elizabeth Ange, the leadoff batter and sparkplug of the Bullets, smacked three home runs and drove in 20 while also playing stellar defense.
Coach Ange said replacing his star shortstop and sometime-pitcher next year won’t be easy.
“She’s one of the best female athletes to ever come through here,” coach Ange said. “She had been our leadoff batter for four years. Those will be some big shoes to fill.
“Somebody is going to have to step up (next year). Not one person can fill just her shoes. We’ll have to do that as a group.”
Elizabeth Ange landed on the WDN All-Area softball team for the fourth straight year, including her third straight on the first team. She was also a second-team pitcher in 2006.
Her leadership, batting prowess and solid glove work helped lead the Bullets to the state championships.
“At the beginning of the year, if you would have told me that we’d be going to Walnut Creek, I would have said, ‘you’re crazy,’” said Ange, who banged out all three of her team’s hits in the state championships. “But as the year went along, I saw that everybody was improving. At the end of the year, I wasn’t surprised we went.”
For Elizabeth Ange, Jamesville’s valedictorian who will attend East Carolina University in the fall, capping off her impressive high school career at the state championships seemed fitting.
“It was really special,” she said. “I always wanted to go back ever since I was a freshman, but we just couldn’t quite get there. Being able to go my senior year was really exciting.”