Ross Maghielse | June 29, 2013 6:10 a.m.
FLINT, MI -- This spring, despite the seemingly never-ending frustration of poor weather, several Flint-area athletes still carved out spectacular seasons and helped their teams do the same. In selecting the MLive-Flint Journal Spring Athletes of the Year, staff reporters Ross Maghielse and Eric Woodyard broke down season stats, post-season awards, contacted coaches and rehashed notable moments from the spring to select the best of the best.
Softball: Hayley Cruthers, Swartz Creek, Senior -- The Ball State University signee ended her high school career with her name stamped on the top-20 list of 15 different individual categories of the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s record book.
Cruthers led Swartz Creek to back-to-back Flint Metro League titles (2012, 2013) and a quarterfinal run last season for the first time in school history while garnering Division 1 First-Team All-State and unanimous All-Conference honors for the last two years.
She started at shortstop throughout her four-year career was picked as team captain for three of them. Her career batting average was .522 (256 for 490) but she batted .660 this year with 12 home runs.
Against Metro League teams, her average skyrocketed to .730 this season and she graduated at the top of the list in just about every career record in Swartz Creek history -- including home runs (31), slugging percentage (.993) and runs batted in (165).
“By far, she’s the best softball player to come out of Swartz Creek and I would almost say she’s also the best female athlete that we’ve ever had, but I don’t have the statistics from other sports to compare that,” said eighth-year Dragons coach Rick Clolinger. “She’s team-oriented and everything is about her team. It’s going to be different next year without her because she’s always been the anchor of our team.”