Four area softball players have earned the distinction of all-Ohio.
The 2012 all-Ohio softball representatives for the Eastern District were announced recently and two local players were named to the first team and two were named second-team all-staters through the Ohio Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association balloting.
Leading the list is St. Clairsville senior Jesse Machovina, who was selected as Division III Eastern District Player of the Year and first-team all-Ohioan.
Machovina, who is bound for The Ohio State University on a softball scholarship, played a key role in the Lady Red Devils' season in which they won the Buckeye 8 title.
The future Lady Buckeye batted a robust .602 with seven home runs and 32 RBI. All told, she had 56 hits. She also played a strong shortstop and was tough to retire on the bases seeing that she stole 12 bases and scored 43 runs.
The other area first-teamer was River freshman Haylee Bowers in Division IV.
Bowers helped guide the Lady Pilots to the district tournament thanks to a season in which she batted .531 and drove in an astounding 62 runs, which ranks sixth all time in OHSAA history.
Bowers had six home runs and 51 total hits, while playing an outstanding shortstop and providing Coach Dave Wright's squad leadership.
Bellaire's Casey Garloch was a repeat selection on the all-Ohio squad as she put the finishing touches on a brilliant prep career as the Lady Reds' everyday catcher.
Garloch batted .486 this past season, delivering 36 hits and driving in 26 runs. She hit three home runs and struck out just three times the entire season.
Behind the plate, Garloch was just as effective. She was tough to run on and handled the Bellaire pitching staff quite well.
St. John Central's Hannah Absalom earned a spot on the Division IV second team after a brilliant season in the pitching circle.
Absalom helped lead the Lady Irish to the OVAC Class 1A title as well as a trip to the Division IV district tournament after posting a 16-5 record and a miniscule 0.99 earned run average.
Along the way, Absalom hurled a perfect game, three no hitters, five one hitters and fanned 159 batters.
Absalom was also a threat with the bat. She hit .399 and had four home runs and 16 RBI.
Buckeye Local's Dana Bettineschi, who helped lead the Lady Panthers to the OVAC 4A title this season, was named to the Division II honorable mention listing on the state squad.
Staskey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org