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Softball: Five contenders for Player of the Year
Lambert softball player Kassidy Krupit
Lambert rising senior Kassidy Krupit is the reigning FCN Pitcher of the Year. She could also contend for Player of the Year, too. - photo by Micah Green

For six straight seasons, the county softball player of the year award has come from Lambert or South Forsyth.

Is this the year the run comes to an end?

Maybe, because there’s a duo (or perhaps trio) of accomplished returners at North Forsyth, highlighted by the return of South Carolina commit Haley Simpson who missed the 2016 season with a torn ACL. They would be the first Raiders player to win a county softball award since Andrea Coleman in 2011.

Or maybe not, because there’s a pair of past winners back for more, led by Delaware commit Kassidy Krupit, the reigning county pitcher of the year who also has one of the best bats in Forsyth.

Here are five players to watch this upcoming season who are capable of winning the award:

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North Forsyth junior outfielder Bella Caracciolo needed a little help from older brother, Griffin, a former North baseball player, in making her college choice. - photo by For the Forsyth County News

Bella Caracciolo, North Forsyth

The rising senior outfielder made this list last year too, and for good reason. The Morehead State commit is a balanced hitter and rangy fielder. Caracciolo has been among the most productive hitters in the county over the last two years. In that time, she has 14 doubles, four triples and seven home runs with 46 RBIs. With Simpson returning to top of the lineup, Caracciolo should have even more chances to produce for the Raiders, who are looking to return to the state playoffs.

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Jordyn Harris, South Forsyth

The rising junior infielder was the 2015 county player of the year when she had a mammoth second half to help propel the War Eagles to Columbus for the first time in program history. Harris didn’t match her production last year, but she still hit .333 with three doubles, a triple, two home runs and 17 RBIs. South is replacing a loaded senior class, so it might be a lot to ask of Harris to carry the team offensively. But she’s proven she can do it once before.

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Lambert sophomore Kassidy Krupit verbally committed to Delaware, a Division I program in the Colonial Athletic Association. - photo by File photo

Kassidy Krupit, Lambert

There might not be a more intense competitor in the county than Krupit, and it showed on the mound last season when she went 15-2 with a 0.84 ERA in 108 1/3 innings to win county pitcher of the year honors. It’s understandable if her dominant pitching overshadowed her potent bat, but don’t forget: Krupit hit .378 with 10 doubles, seven home runs and 26 RBIs. If she maintains her performance on the mound, Krupit is virtually a lock to repeat as pitcher of the year. And if she elevates her performance at the plate even a bit, she could be the first player to sweep county pitcher and player of the year since Lambert’s Kassie Howard in 2013.

Lambert softball player Brooke Miller
Lambert's Brooke Miller (27) is greeted by teammates after hitting a home run in the state playoffs against Hillgrove. - photo by Micah Green

Brooke Miller, Lambert

Krupit and 2016 player of the year Marissa Guimbarda headlined the Longhorns’ region championship run, but they got plenty of help from Miller, a freshman last season. The rising sophomore infielder hit .383 with six doubles, five home runs and 21 RBIs. She scored a county-best 27 runs. She had 22 walks, accounting for an impressive .514 on-base percentage. Guimbarda’s graduation figures to leave a big hole in Lambert’s lineup. Or not – maybe Lambert has a star-in-waiting in Miller.

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Haley Simpson, North Forsyth

The speedy outfielder hit .447 and .422 her freshman and sophomore seasons, respectively, and had 42 stolen bases combined. It seemed to portend a phenomenal junior season, but an ACL injury during basketball season wiped it out. So here’s a guess that the South Carolina commit is more motivated than ever in her senior year to have a season for the ages and remind everyone what they missed out on last year.