3A softball MVP: Stansbury's Janessa Bassett
If softball is going to dominate a player's life, then it helps if the player can dominate a game.
Stanbury's Janessa Bassett fit that description this season, dominating games and the base paths while helping the 4-year-old high school win its first state championship in any sport.
"She's the best player I've ever coached," said Stansbury coach Bridget Clinton, who coached Grantsville to a state title in 1998. "She is the quintessential five-tool player. She has the best arm I've ever seen, a great glove and instincts as an outfielder. And she can hit for contact or power. And she is fast."
Bassett, a junior, stole 36 bases on 37 attempts this season. She said base running is her favorite part of the game, which is the origin of the nickname her family and teammates gave her: Cheetah.
"Ever since I started playing, I've loved the game," Bassett said. "I don't know what I would do without softball. It's been such a big part of my life for so long. I've learned so many lessons from it and made so many friends and memories."
Add to that list of memories her statistics from this season: she scored 47 runs and hit .500 (54 for 108), including six doubles and four triples. She walked 11 times, had a .553 on-base percentage, struck out just three times, drove in 24 runs and committed just one error.
Bassett didn't let up during the Stallions' run to the state title. She went 13 of 23 (.565) with 10 runs scored during Stansbury's six postseason games.
Bassett's mother, Karina, said that Janessa doesn't do anything without first considering how it will affect her softball career.
"She's very dedicated," Karina said. "Sometimes it's frustrating because we want to go on vacation, and she says, 'No, I have to practice.' She loves it. It's her passion."
Bassett has committed verbally to play at Dixie State but is considering other offers.
"She could play anywhere, any division, any conference," Clinton said. "I'm happy to have her one more year, though."