Senior Pitcher One of Seven Selections from AJHS Regional Championship Squad
By Daniel Dullum
For the second consecutive year, Apache Junction senior Mikayla Gilgert was selected as 4A Black Canyon Region player of the year in a vote of the region coaches.
As a pitcher, the right-handed Gilgert was dominant, fashioning a 17-5 record with a 2.71 earned run average, 12 complete games, 11 shutouts, and a no-hitter. She struck out 205, walked 35 and held opponents to a .233 batting average.
At the plate, Gilgert –who played centerfield when not pitching – hit .450 with a .740 slugging percentage, a team-leading five home runs and 46 runs batted in, 12 doubles, a triple and 33 runs scored.
Gilgert – who has signed to play collegiately at Georgian Court in New Jersey – was one of four Lady Prospectors named to the all-region first team, joining second baseman Elexis Toro, outfielder Cori Haro and shortstop Denae Preuhs. Second-team selections from AJHS were outfielders Priscilla Saldate and Daisy Ruelas-Estrada, and third baseman Tristen Greer.
Toro, a sophomore who was a second-team selection as a freshman, was also named the region’s offensive player of the year. The left-handed slap hitter batted .573, scored 61 runs, and collected 67 hits, including 12 doubles, a triple and a home run.
Toro had a .621 on-base percentage, a .717 slugging percentage, and did not strike out in 132 plate appearances. She also stole a team-high 27 bases in 32 attempts.
Preuhs was a first-team all-region selection a year ago. The senior shortstop, who is headed to Mesa Community College, batted .472, drove in 40 runs, and collected 12 doubles, five triples and hit one home run. The senior shortstop had a .534 OBP, .707 SLG, three sacrifice flies and 10 stolen bases.
Haro, a junior outfielder, was a second-team choice in 2017. She drove in 32 runs while hitting .489, had a .561 OBP, .586 slugging percentage, and stole 11 bases.
Saldate, a sophomore centerfielder, hit .388 with 23 RBIs. Greer, a freshman third baseman-pitcher batted.361 while driving in 19 runs. Ruelas-Estrada, a freshman rightfielder, hit .352 with four doubles, three triples and 26 RBIs.
Lady Prospectors Coach Ed Matlosz, who guided AJHS to a 25-8 overall record – 10-0 region – was selected as Black Canyon coach of the year.
Photo above: AJHS all-region selections. From left — Priscilla Saldate, Daisy Ruelas-Estrada, Tristen Greer, Elexis Toro, Cori Haro, Mikayla Gilgert, Denae Preuhs. (Photos by Daniel Dullum)