Each of The Inquirer's all-South Jersey softball first-team selections had a highly successful season that helped her team.

Here is why they were chosen.

Gloucester's Jill Stafford was a steady defensive performer at first base all season, and she led the Group 1 state champion Lions with 82 at-bats. Her batting average was .444, and she had nine doubles, one triple, two home runs, and 30 RBIs.

Williamstown's Briana Molino, a newcomer to the varsity squad, did not make an error at shortstop all season and batted .319. Molino had 65 chances, 24 putouts, and 41 assists.

Nicole Escudero, Cherokee's leadoff hitter and star infielder, hit .377 with 22 runs scored and 23 hits. She helped the Chiefs clinch the Olympic Conference American Division crown and advance to the sectional semifinal.

Gloucester's Tabby Dick was one reason her team's infield was strong up the middle defensively. On offense, she shined with a .418 batting average, 10 doubles, three home runs, and 23 RBIs.

Delsea's Jess Zeilman was a steady infielder who solidified the middle and helped lead the Crusaders to the South Group 3 title. Her batting average was .573, and she had a half-dozen doubles and three home runs.

Jill Minix of Kingsway has played different positions over the years, but this season she settled in at catcher. No one stole a base on her, according to Kingsway coach Tony Barchuk. Her .403 batting average included 10 doubles and three triples.

Michelle Foster of Overbrook helped lead her team to the South Jersey Group 2 title with flawless defense in the outfield and potent offense. She led the team with 38 hits, had 17 RBIs and 26 runs scored, and batted .452.

Gloucester Catholic's Kristen Collins showed speed and a strong arm in the outfield. At the plate, she provided power with four doubles, one triple, and a home run. She was also consistent hitting, with a .410 batting average.

Williamstown's Danielle McDevitt had no problems with balls hit to right field. The senior added to the offense, too, by batting .479 with 20 RBIs.

Vineland's Dana Parks covered a lot of the outfield, from which she had 19 putouts for the Fighting Clan. The senior also stole 28 bases, batted .495, and had 17 RBIs.

Gloucester pitcher Taylor Chain finished the season with a 20-1 record, including four perfect games, 18 shutouts, seven no-hitters, 273 strikeouts, 12 walks, and an ERA of 0.49. In 70 at-bats, her average was .500.

Williamstown ace Katie Trotter had a record of 21-2 with nine shutouts and an ERA of 0.99. She faced 602 batters, gave up 36 runs and 122 hits, and struck out 127 in leading the Braves to the Group 4 state title. Her batting average was .468.

St. Joseph's Nicole Pagano finished the season with a 13-3 record that ended with a 3-2 loss to Montclair Kimberly in the Non-Public B state final. She pitched 120 innings, walked 20, struck out 149, and had an ERA of 0.51.

Vineland's LeAnne Miller was a force in the circle for her team, sparking a 15-game winning streak that ended in a 4-3 loss to Williamstown in a Group 4 sectional semifinal. Miller's record was 19-4 with an ERA of 1.45. Her batting average was .500.

Delsea southpaw Allison Pfrommer helped lead her team to the Group 3 sectional championship before the Crusaders lost to Middletown South, 9-0, in a state semifinal. She threw nine shutouts on the way to a 14-5 record, and she batted .390.

All-South Jersey Softball Team

FIRST TEAM

Pos.    Player               School                  Class

1B    Jill Stafford         Gloucester               Senior

INF   Briana Molino      Williamstown            Junior

INF   Nicole Escudero   Cherokee               Senior

INF    Tabby Dick         Gloucester               Senior

C      Jill Minix            Kingsway               Senior

OF      Michelle Foster   Overbrook               Junior

OF      Danielle McDevitt   Williamstown            Senior

OF      Kristen Collins      Gloucester Catholic      Senior

P      Taylor Chain      Gloucester               Senior

P       Katie Trotter         Williamstown            Senior

P      Nicole Pagano      St. Joseph               Senior

P      LeAnne Miller      Vineland                  Senior

P      Allison Pfrommer   Delsea                  Senior

SECOND TEAM

Pos.    Player               School                   Class

1B    Katie Madden      Camden Catholic         Senior

INF    Ali Robinson      Gloucester Catholic      Senior

INF    Jesse Minix         Kingsway               Soph.

INF    Jess Combs      Hammonton            Junior

C       Morgan Earling   St. Joseph               Junior

OF       Amy Gentile      Rancocas Valley         Senior

OF       Stephanie Miller   Cherry Hill East         Senior

OF       Gianna Pedone   Haddon Twp.            Soph.

P       Jen Metzger      Overbrook               Junior

P       Kylie Kristovich    Sacred Heart            Junior

P       Nicole Hagerty      Gloucester Catholic      Junior

P       Christine Watson   Cherokee               Junior

P       Krysti Maronski   GCIT                     Junior

- Bill Iezzi EndText

Contact staff writer Bill Iezzi

at 856-779-3826 or biezzi@phillynews.com.