(After games of Tuesday, April 24)
Here are this week’s high school softball players of the week. One player is chosen from each region of the country. The only other criteria is that no player will be chosen more than once during a season.
Andrea Chiaradio, Stonington (Conn.)
The first-year junior pitcher couldn't have been more perfect than she was in a 3-0 victory over Norwich Free Academy (Norwich, Conn.). A regular centerfielder as a sophomore, she opened eyes as a pitcher when she fanned all 21 batters in a seven-inning perfect game. She is 3-1 as a pitcher and was coming off her first setback of the season. Her perfect game came on the same day that Philip Humber hurled a major-league perfecto for the Chicago White Sox.
Lindsey Fadnek, Coalfield (Tenn.)
A senior who has signed with Marshall University, Fadnek has been a strikeout machine since she was an eighth-grader for the Coalfield varsity. In the team’s 6-2 win on Tuesday over Oakdale (Tenn.), Fadnek tossed a no-hitter with 19 strikeouts and added a two-run homer with her bat. She had a 21-strikeout no-hitter earlier in the season and improved her career total after Tuesday to 1,696. Fadnek is a four-time all-state Class 1A selection and after last season was chosen first-team All-American by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
Mackenzie Becker, La Crosse Central (Wis.)
The senior catcher helped the 9-0 record Red Raiders to four wins last week, including a monster outing in a 10-0 blanking of Holmen (Wis.). She went 4 for 4 with two home runs and a double while batting in eight runs. The feature hit was a second-inning grand slam. In a weekend doubleheader sweep of Eau Claire Memorial (Wis.), she also knocked in four runs and belted another homer.
Heather Stearns, Hebron (Lewisville, Texas)
In the final game of what has been a remarkable regular season for Stearns, she smacked her 13th homer and pitched a four-hitter with 18 strikeouts to lead Hebron past Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas) 2-1. Earlier in the week, Stearns collected four hits and three RBIs in a 16-5 victory over Allen (Texas). Stearns, who has signed with Baylor, tied a state record earlier this season when she smashed four homers in one game against Pilot Point (Texas).
Ashley Thompson, Connell (Wash.)
Whether it’s hitting or pitching, Thompson is one of the best in the West this season. The University of Washington recruit isn’t facing the greatest competition, but is dominating on both sides of the plate for the 12-0 Eagles. Last weekend in a pair of 25-0 routs against Wahluke (Mattawa, Wash.), Thompson hit two homers on the day and pitched a perfect game in one of the wins. Earlier this season, the 2011 Class 1A State Player of the Year had a no-hitter and hit two homers in a win over Riverside (Chattaroy, Wash.). She led Connell to the Class 1A state title last season and had 18 strikeouts in the state final.