Sill, Vidunas make big Southwestern League splash

DHS duo lands on all-league softball team

Whether it be yet another new position or a new team altogether, Mackenzie Sill and Lexy Vidunas showed no ill effects.

The duo each earned an All-Southwestern League softball selection for Durango High School, with Sill landing on the first team for the second consecutive season, while newcomer Vidunas pitched her way on to the second team for a Demons team that finished 9-10 and narrowly missed out on a second consecutive Class 4A playoff berth.

For Sill, it was her second time on the first team at as many different positions. Last season, Sill primarily played third base, batting .413 with 17 RBIs, while Taylor Roster held down shortstop. With Roster opting not to play in 2012, Sill moved to shortstop, though her skills at the plate didn’t change much – .406 average and .609 slugging percentage with a team-leading 19 RBIs along with 20 runs, a home run and eight doubles.

“I was actually a little worried, because at shortstop I wasn’t doing as well; I wasn’t confident,” said Sill, daughter of Chris and Monica Sill. “So I was actually kind of worried that my time at shortstop was going to hurt me. But I still tried my best and tried to make the best of it.”

Head coach John Bernazzani expected no less, and he was happy with what his senior was able to provide at the plate once again.

“No surprise that Mackenzie drew the attention of SWL coaches again this season, especially at the plate. ... Always a pleasure to watch her approach as a hitter. The team will miss her,” Bernazzani said in an email.

Vidunas came over this season from Aztec High School and immediately made an impact in the circle. She went 8-5 with a 2.94 ERA in 83 1/3 innings pitched. Vidunas posted 81 strikeouts against just 35 walks in 15 appearances.

She was no slouch at the plate either, racking up a .426 batting average – tops on the team – along with 18 runs scored and a .473 on-base percentage.

“Lexy’s second-team selection as a pitcher is a program first to my knowledge. ... Her impact was felt by the opposition from both sides of the diamond,” Bernazzani said.

Fruita Monument’s Mallory Paulson earned SWL Player of the Year honors. She hit .554 while driving in 44 runs and belting nine home runs for the Wildcats.

Montrose’s Joe Bollinger took home Coach of the Year accolades for leading the Indians to a 16-7 record and a Class 4A regional title.

rowens@durangoherald.com

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