2011 NDN Softball Player of the Year: Stephanie Metzger, Palmetto Ridge
By Adam Fisher
NAPLES — Stephanie Metzger (Naples, Fla./Palmetto Ridge) wants to do whatever it takes to win.
Whether that means mentoring younger teammates, switching positions or simply smacking home runs, Metzger was willing to do what was best for the Palmetto Ridge softball team this past season.
“This season we knew we didn't have a lot of depth,” Bears coach Jeff Stevens said. “She knew it was going to be her responsibility to be a leader, and she embraced it. The players all gravitated to her. She took to it naturally.”
While her leadership made Palmetto Ridge better, Metzger had the legitimate numbers to make her the Daily News Softball Player of the Year. The senior Florida Gulf Coast University recruit hit .596 with 18 doubles, 31 runs batted in and a near-impossible .988 slugging percentage.
Metzger meant so much more to the Bears than offense. She was the steady presence in the dugout for a team with just 10 players, half of whom were underclassmen.
Stevens credits Metzger for holding the team together after he was forced to remove a player from the team midseason. Not only did Metzger rally the other players, she also switched from catcher to shortstop, a position she played for just a brief period as a freshman.
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Metzger joins a team that welcomes back 14 student-athletes and is part of the incoming class of Kelsey Carpenter (Oviedo Fla,/Hagerty)
, Shelby Morgan (High Springs, Fla./Santa Fe)
, Britney Pugh (Pembroke Pines, Fla./Pines Charter/St. Petersburg College)
, Kayla Ramey (Cape Coral, Fla./North Fort Myers/Seminole State College)
, Gianna Sandstrom (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons)
, Lauren Stevens (Naples, Fla./Palmetto Ridge)
and Chelsea Wildey (Oviedo, Fla./Oviedo HS)