LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Guiding their programs to state championships, Bella Willsey of Edison High School (Elmira Heights, N.Y.), Emma Crisswell of Williams Valley High School (Tower City, Pa.) and Kelsie Houchens of Male High School (Louisville, Ky.) were selected MaxPreps / NFCA National High School Players of the Week for their outstanding play during the week of June 10-17.
Willsey was a key component in Edison claiming the 2019 NYSPHSAA Class C state title. The senior righty twirled a 14-strikeout no-hitter in the state semifinal win over St. Lawrence Central. She faced just one batter over the minimum and also went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double, home run and two RBI in the 12-0 win. In the championship game, Willsey tossed a four-hit shutout versus Warsaw. She fanned eight, walked one and recorded a double and RBI.
In the PIAA 1A title game, Crisswell fired a four-hit shutout against Dubois Central Catholic as the Vikings won 5-0. The sophomore hurler struck out four and did not walk a batter, leading Williams Valley to its third state championship. Crisswell also chipped in at the plate. She recorded a two-run double to extend her team’s lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the third.
South Central Region
Houchens was 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA and tossed a perfect game in the KHSAA state quarterfinals to help Male capture a 2019 state title and finish off a perfect 39-0 season. Against Boyle County, she struck out 10 and retired all 21 batters in a 4-0 quarterfinal win. In the semifinals versus Clay County, Houchens provided four innings of hitless relief with seven strikeouts in a 2-1 eight-inning victory. The junior righty capped off a stellar weekend with a five-hit complete game effort in which Houchens fanned nine and walked one. She appeared in all three games, including two starts, surrendering one unearned run on five hits with 26 strikeouts and just one walk in 18 innings of work.
MaxPreps.com, the official high school statistical provider of the NFCA, provides all statistics for the NFCA High School Player of the Week award. To nominate a player for the award, the coach must enter his or her athlete's game stats into MaxPreps.com by Sunday evening to be eligible for that week’s award.
The MaxPreps/NFCA High School Players of the Week are announced on NFCA.orgevery Monday during the spring campaign with a player from each of five separate high school regions being selected. In the fall season, one representative is chosen from the participating regions.
MaxPreps is a free stat tool that is available to high school coaches across the country and is one of the most recognized and respected high school athletics websites on the internet. Coaches who enter their team’s stats on Max Preps will not only be nominating their players for this award, but they will be getting their team’s information out to thousands of high school sports fans, as well as college coaches across the country.