On Wednesday, July 24th AJ Brookman & Hayley Cruthers received their All-State Awards at Michigan State University at the relatively new Secchia Stadium. The awards were presented after the Division 1 High School All-Star Game concluded in which Cruthers played for the White team.
Several Swartz Creek players and coaches attended the game to watch the ladies receive their awards and to see Cruthers play one last time before joining the Ball State Cardinal Softball team in a few weeks.
The games are structured to play 8 innings to allow the 14 members of the roster to get equal time in the field, while all players bat. Cruthers played mostly Shortstop and a couple innings in Right Field. She hit in the cleanup position and went 1-3 with a single and couple ground-outs. She also made a couple of plays in the field at shortstop and from the outfield. Her team lost 4-0.
It was like a travel team reunion for Cruthers, who had 3 of her Finesse Fastpitch 18u Gold/Premier teammates by her side (Mikey Kish - Allen Park (Madonna), Jacquelin Murphy - Mercy (Loyola), Kristina Zalewski - Saline (Michigan State)). Also on her team was former Finesse teammate Sydney Hasselbach - Clarkston (Ferris State). On the opposing team was Kayla Rebain - Plymouth (Madonna), another former Finesse teammate.
Other former and current Finesse teammates played in the Division 2 game that followed Cruthers game. Former teammate Bailey Darwin - Chelsea (Ferris State), current teammate Celeste Fidge - Ladywood (Toledo) who won Miss Softball as the position player this year, and Desiree Kuczynki - Trenton. In the Division 3 game former teammate Paige Altherr - Cabrini - (Michigan Dearborn).
There were many of her current and former teammates who did not play in any of the division's all-star games who were on hand to receive their All-State awards. Hanna Warren - Canton (Central Michigan), Jessie Mehr - South Lyon (Virginia Tech), Shelby Hard - Hartland (North Dakota), and Sienna Surber - Jackson. Most of the girls who played in the games arrived the day before for practices and to get to know each other, then stayed overnight in the dorms. According to Cruthers, "We had a lot of fun!"