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Four Zebras honored by PVL

Lincoln's Stephanie Tofft named league’s MVP
By: Russ Edmondson The News Messenger
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Opposing Pioneer Valley League coaches honored four Lincoln High softball players for their play this season. Junior pitcher Stephanie Tofft earned the PVL’s most valuable player while sophomore pitcher Nikoli Sharp and senior Nicole Wilkerson (third base, catcher) were named to the All-PVL team. Senior outfielder Sara Godbee earned an Honorable Mention, meaning she received at least one vote from an opposing coach for all league. The players were honored as part of Lincoln’s end of the season softball banquet of May 21. “It was well deserved – they definitely earned it,” said Lincoln coach Donna Tofft about having four players honored by PVL coaches. This group of players helped the Zebras place second in the PVL this season and earn two playoff victories in Stockton before finally being eliminated by Oakdale. Tofft led the Zebras in batting average (.612, 60-for-98), runs (43), home runs (nine), steals (36), triples (two), on base percentage (.655) and slugging percentage (1.010). She also tied for the team lead in doubles (eight) and walks (11) and struck out a team-low three times despite a team-high 110 plate appearances. Tofft was also second on the team in RBIs with 20. Sharp, who played first base when not pitching, batted .368 (35-95) with a team-high 21 RBI. She tied for the team lead in doubles (eight) and was tied for second in runs (17). Both were dominant on the mound and threw 10 complete games. Tofft (112.2 innings) was 13-4 with a .56 ERA, 132 strikeouts and 30 walks. She gave up 41 hits and opponents batted .131 off her. Sharp (102 innings) was 8-5 with a .69 ERA. She struck out 86 while giving up 21 walks and 73 hits. Wilkerson hit .329 (28-85) and was third on the team with 16 RBI. She also tied for second on the team with five steals. Godbee batted .247 (21-85) with 14 RBI. She tied for the team lead in walks (11) and tied for second in runs (17) and steals (five). Donna Tofft thinks Stephanie Tofft, a cousin, was a worthy MVP choice. “She started (the season) on a tear,” Tofft said. “She just came out so hot and it was just impressive and it was enough to catch everybody’s attention.” Stephanie Tofft originally gave a verbal commitment to San Jose State but that has since been rescinded. She and Sharp are both getting plenty of interest from colleges for their softball skills. “If they come in with the mindset of ‘I have to get better’ then we will be very, very good (next year),” Donna Tofft said. “Especially with the (success in the) playoffs. I’m cautiously optimistic but excited at the same time. They (Sharp and Tofft) looked excited at the end of the year and I really think it’s going to carry over (into next season).”