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See finalists for 2022 VanDyk Mortgage West Michigan Conference softball player of year

Fan voting opens at 6 a.m. Friday, June 17.

Oakridge and Ravenna have battled it out the last two seasons for West Michigan Conference softball supremacy.

Last year, the teams shared the conference title. This time, the Eagles edged the Bulldogs for the outright league crown.

Not only were those teams far and away the best in the conference, they were among the top squads in the entire Muskegon area. To little surprise, players from Oakridge and Ravenna dominated discussion when it came time to select three finalists for the 2022 VanDyk Mortgage West Michigan Conference softball Player of the Year.

A CatchMark panel consisting of Scott DeCamp, Brent Raeth and Conner Raeth pored over a list of great players from the conference. After some deliberation, the panel came to a consensus on three finalists for Player of the Year: Oakridge’s Brooklyn Galdeen, Ravenna’s Emma Herremans and Oakridge’s Jasmine Pastor.

Several factors helped determine the finalists, including season statistics, all-around contributions, team success and other intangibles.

Friday morning (June 17), a poll will open and readers will vote to determine which of the aforementioned players wins the award. Readers will be allowed to vote once per hour until the poll closes at 3 p.m. Tuesday, June 21.

The West Michigan Conference Player of the Year banquet for 2022 spring sports will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 30, at the Viking Athletic Center in Whitehall.

Here are capsules on each of the Player of the Year finalists for softball:

Oakridge’s Brooklyn Galdeen fires a pitch against Ravenna on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in Muskegon, Mich. (Scott DeCamp | CatchMark)

BROOKLYN GALDEEN

Oakridge senior pitcher/shortstop

  • First-team all-conference, all-district and all-region.
  • Batted .376 with a .466 on-base percentage and .569 slugging percentage to go along with 12 doubles and four home runs, plus 36 RBIs.
  • In the pitcher’s circle, the right-hander was 14-5 with a 2.11 ERA with 113 strikeouts and 26 walks in 112 2/3 innings.
  • Oakridge finished 28-8 overall and won a sixth straight WMC title with a 14-0 record.
  • The Eagles lost to Coopersville in a tight Division 2 district semifinal.
  • Oakridge’s overall statistics were impacted by playing a very tough nonleague schedule.
  • Signed to play softball at Muskegon Community College.
  • Earned Division 2 first-team all-state honors last season. All-state for this season has not been determined yet.
Ravenna’s Emma Herremans bats in a game against Montague on Thursday, April 28, 2022, in Ravenna, Mich. (Scott DeCamp | CatchMark)

EMMA HERREMANS

Ravenna freshman third baseman

  • First-team all-conference, all-district and all-region. All-state honors for this season has not been determined yet.
  • Respected across the league and in the area for hitting the ball hard.
  • The left-handed No. 3 hitter in the Bulldogs’ lineup finished with a .622 batting average (approaching .800 in league play). She totaled 74 hits (25 doubles, 12 triples, eight home runs) to go with 73 runs scored, 63 RBIs and 34 stolen bases.
  • Walked 17 times and struck out only three times.
  • Ravenna finished 30-9, a school record for wins, including a GMAA Tier 1 tourney title game victory over Oakridge. The Bulldogs won a Division 3 district title and fell 1-0 in the regional finals to a Calvin Christian that has advanced to the state semifinals.
  • Like Oakridge, Ravenna’s overall statistics were impacted by playing a challenging nonleague schedule.
Oakridge’s Jasmine Pastor is shown during a game against Ravenna Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in Muskegon, Mich. (Bethany McCullough | CatchMark)

JASMINE PASTOR

Oakridge senior second baseman/infielder

  • First-team all-conference, all-district and all-region.
  • Battled .390 with a .475 on-base percentage and .814 slugging percentage to go along with 17 doubles and 11 home runs, plus 49 RBIs.
  • Oakridge finished 28-8 overall and won a sixth straight WMC title with a 14-0 record.
  • The Eagles lost to Coopersville in a tight Division 2 district semifinal.
  • Oakridge’s overall statistics were impacted by playing a very tough nonleague schedule.
  • Signed to play softball at Muskegon Community College.
  • Earned Division 2 first-team all-state honors last season. All-state for this season has not been determined yet.

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Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

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