Local private-school athletes named all-state

St. Pius X's Emily Dear winds up to throw a pitch against Katy St. John XXIII. Dear was one of three Lady Panthers recently named to the TAPPS All-State team following a 20-10 season. (Photo by Wayne Donnelly) 

Two private high schools in the area enjoyed strong baseball and softball seasons this spring, and several of their key players were recently recognized for their contributions with selections to their respective TAPPS all-state teams.

The St. Pius X softball team had three all-state selections following the program’s most prolific season in recent memory. The Lady Panthers went 20-10 overall and 10-0 in district play to win their first district championship since 2015 before falling to San Antonio Antonian Prep in the state quarterfinals.

Sophomore Victoria Hunter was one of two first-team selections for SPX after leading TAPPS Division I in batting average (.649), slugging percentage (1.351), on-base percentage (.750), OPS (2.101) and RBIs (51), according to MaxPreps.

Senior UTSA commit Emily Dear also garnered first-team honors after finishing third in TAPPS Division I in batting average (.634) and RBIs (42). She also finished tied for second in homers (11) and was second in on-base percentage (.705), slugging (1.281) and OPS (1.985). In the circle, she was third in Division I with a 1.34 ERA and 144 strikeouts in 114.2 innings pitched.

Senior catcher Jennifer Schmalz was a second-team selection after hitting .370 with a 1.006 OPS and 30 RBIs. She caught all 30 games for the Lady Panthers, committing just two errors all year.

Baseball

Leading the area’s baseball teams was St. Thomas, which had three selections to the TAPPS all-state team. Senior Will Rizzo, who is committed to Texas A&M, was a first-team selection after a senior campaign that saw him pitch three complete games and lead the Eagles to their 10th state tournament in the last 11 seasons.

The Eagles also had two second-team selections in infielders Grant Stringer and Eddie Villegas.

St. Pius X had one all-state baseball selection, Kyle Winkler, who starred both on the mound and at the plate for the Panthers during a 15-13 season that ended in the area round of the playoffs. Winkler led the Panthers with a 1.86 ERA as a pitcher and four home runs as a hitter, and finished second on the team with a 1.012 OPS.

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