Wrapping up the 2024 scholastic softball season with our awards (2024)

Wrapping up the 2024 scholastic softball season with our awards (1)

With another scholastic softball season in the books, the Courier-Post takes a look back at some of brightest gems to play on the diamond this spring.

Player of the Year: Hannah Weismer, Kingsway

Hannah Weismer thrives in the big situations.

Facing some of the area’s top pitchers in the clutch, that’s when the slugger wants to be in the batter’s box.

And Weismer has the results to show it.

The junior third baseman hit .474 with 13 home runs and 33 RBIs for the Kingsway Regional High School softball team. Her offensive production and game-changing defense at the hot corner earned Weismer the Courier-Post Player of the Year honor.

“She always wants to be up at the plate in the big spots,” Kingsway head coach Jill Ward said. “She’s been playing against high-level competition her entire life. I think her ability to stay calm in those big situations is a big key.”

Wrapping up the 2024 scholastic softball season with our awards (2)

Already regarded as one of South Jersey’s toughest outs, Weismer wanted to add a little more pop to her swing. She added more muscle with work in the weight room and made slight adjustments to her swing.

“You have to learn how to swing harder, but still stay controlled,” Weismer said. “I also concentrated on attacking pitches early in the count and I think that helped a lot. I wanted to focus on having more power and hitting more gaps.”

Weismer’s 13 homers were the most by a Dragon since Kelsey Dominik hit 11 in 2012. Two of her homers came off Egg Harbor Township's Madison Dollard and one off Notre Dame's Rylee Michalak, who is regarded as one of the top pitchers in the Garden State. Weismer also added a career-high 10 doubles.

For her career, Weismer boasts a .448 batting average with 25 homers in three seasons to go along with 113 hits and 99 RBIs.

While her bat makes plenty of noise, Weismer’s glove work can be just as impactful. With a Kingsway pitching staff that produces plenty of ground balls, her work at the hot corner can put the chill on opposing offenses.

“Hands down, she’s the best third baseman I’ve seen as a coach,” Ward said. “Her reaction time is insane.”

Wrapping up the 2024 scholastic softball season with our awards (3)

Pitcher of the Year: Madison Dollard, Egg Harbor Township

Madison Dollard learned a valuable lesson this season.

When those pesky hitters adjust to how a pitcher is trying to get them out, it’s on the pitcher to modify her game.

And that’s exactly what the Egg Harbor Township senior did.

The right-hander won 20 games with a 1.15 ERA and struck out a career-high 266 batters, leading the Eagles to their third straight Cape-Atlantic League Tournament title and a berth in the South Jersey Group 4 final.

For her accomplishments, Dollard is the Courier-Post’s South Jersey Pitcher of the Year.

“You gotta give them something they’re not expecting,” Egg Harbor Township head coach Kristi Troster said. “It wasn’t a secret that (Dollard’s) curve was her best pitch. When hitters started looking for it, she said ‘I’m going back to the drawing board.' She was willing to adjust.

“We would both watch film and develop a game plan. That’s a student of the game and that is something she’s really grown into.”

Few can argue with the results.

Dollard was dialed-in during the biggest moments of the season, keeping hitters guessing at the plate.

From May 10 on, the senior made nine starts, holding opponents to one earned run or fewer in eight of those turns. She also won eight of those decisions, including back-to-back one-hitters against Vineland and St. Joseph en route to the CAL Tournament crown.

Also included during the stretch was a career-high 19-strikeout performance against Absegami as well as two more one-hitters against Audubon and Southern.

Troster said a tough 2-1 loss at Kingsway on April 20 was the best game Dollard threw in her career. She struck out 16 and allowed three knocks to a heavy-hitting Dragon lineup.

Dollard finished her scholastic career with a sub-1.00 ERA and a 0.852 WHIP along with 753 strikeouts in over 500 innings of work.

“She’s a competitor, a pure athlete,” Troster said.

Dollard will attend Farleigh Dickinson in the fall.

Wrapping up the 2024 scholastic softball season with our awards (4)

Coach of the Year: Megan Mason, Gloucester

Getting the most out of the talent on the roster is something that Megan Mason has managed to do ever since she landed the position as Gloucester head coach in 2015.

And this spring, Mason completed her best performance.

The former Gloucester standout led the Lions to the state Group 2 title, the program’s first since 2009, utilizing an air-tight defense, clutch pitching and timely hitting with a young roster that included just three seniors.

Gloucester finished with a 21-5 record. Eight victories were by two-or-fewer runs, including a 1-0 win over Haddon Heights in the South Jersey final and a 3-2 triumph against Ramsey in the state final.

Wrapping up the 2024 scholastic softball season with our awards (5)

Team of the Year: Vineland

Coming off a 13-win season last spring, the Fighting Clan were one of the biggest surprises of the season, capturing the Cape-Atlantic League American and South Jersey Group 4 titles.

Under head coach Mike Reed, Vineland had one of the most electrifying offenses in the state, posting 223 runs and 85 stolen bases in 29 games.

The result was a 26-3 record, a program-record for wins in a season, including a 4-3 victory over Egg Harbor Township in the South Jersey Group 4 sectional championship. The team advanced to the state final, where it dropped a 6-4 decision to Watchung Hills.

Final Mean 15 rankings

  1. Vineland (26-3)
  2. Egg Harbor Township (20-10)
  3. Kingsway (23-3)
  4. St. Joseph (21-9)
  5. Gloucester (21-5)
  6. Northern Burlington (23-5)
  7. Paul VI (20-9)
  8. Moorestown (22-6)
  9. Haddon Heights (15-9-1)
  10. Haddon Township (21-7)
  11. Cinnaminson (19-9)
  12. Audubon (18-6)
  13. Cherokee (15-9-1)
  14. Lenape (13-11)
  15. West Deptford (17-9)

Tom McGurk is a regional sports reporter for the Courier-Post, The Daily Journal and Burlington County Times, covering South Jersey sports for over 30 years. If you have a sports story that needs to be told, contact him at (856) 486-2420 or emailtmcgurk@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter at @McGurkSports. Help support local journalism with a digitalsubscription.

Wrapping up the 2024 scholastic softball season with our awards (2024)
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