Paulson hits, pitches way to league MVP
Fruita Monument senior Mallory Paulson on Tuesday was selected the Southwestern League Most Valuable Player for softball after batting .554 with nine home runs and 44 RBIs.
The senior went 4-3 on the mound and led Fruita Monument to a 16-7 overall record and 9-1 record in the SWL.
“She’ll go on and play college softball,” Fruita coach Jack Thomas said. “She is a huge leader on our team and I’m going to miss her.”
Paulson’s standout performance came on Sept. 25 in a 10-2 win over Grand Junction at Bergman Field. She hit two home runs — one that she swatted to right-center field and another that she pulled to left field — going 3 for 4 with 5 RBI. She also pitched, allowing two hits and striking out 11.
Paulson, who rebounded from an early season rib injury, at the time called it one of her “top 10” all-time performances.
Even more, she pitched from a muddy mound in constant rain.
“That game right there was probably one of her best games on the mound all year,” Thomas said.
Fruita Monument had four all-SWL selections (Paulson, Mariaha O’Dell, Kenzi DeCrow, Jenni Sneddon), Grand Junction had three (Arrianna Diaz, Elisha Jahnke, Brianna Baldwin), Central had one (Tyler Hays) and Montrose had one (Lara Ammermann).
The coach of the year award went to Joe Bolinger of Montrose, who led the Indians to a 16-7 record, a regional championship and berth in the Class 4A state playoffs.