By John Wilbert/NEMS Daily Journal
This is the second year of the Daily Journal’s revamped All-Area Team format. The Journal is selecting 10 players – regardless of position or classification they compete in – from its coverage area deemed to have had the best seasons in their respective sports.
With 60 some high schools in its coverage area, the Daily Journal’s staff and correspondents did their best in determining which high school softball players had the most successful slow-pitch seasons in 2011.
The Journal’s staff contacted area softball coaches and other media types to seek their input on which players had standout seasons. The following is the list of players the Journal considered to have the most successful seasons.
Myrtle, LCF, Junior
Notable: .604 ba., 18 HR, 52 RBI, 14 doubles, 1 triple, 1.333 slugging, .992 fielding percentage.
Quotable: “Without a doubt, she is one of the strongest, if not the strongest, hitters I’ve ever coached in girls softball. She has tremendous power, and she can hit with power to all parts of the field.” – Lady Hawks coach Robert Gordon
Kossuth, 1B, Junior
Notable: .632 ba., 4 HR, 26 RBI, 55 hits, 6 doubles, .692 OBP, reached base 72 times out 104 total plate appearances, .997 fielding percentage, 117 putouts, 3 assists, 1 error, .706 playoff ba. (12 for 17, 9 RBI).
Quotable: “Jordan had a season to remember. From day one she was consistent on both offense and defense. Her hitting over .600 and having a fielding percentage of .997 helped us to advance as far as we did.” – Lady Aggies coach Steve Lyles
Smithville, 3B/P, Freshman
Notable: .642 ba., 10 HR, 48 RBI, 52 hits, 16 doubles, 1 triple, 45 runs, 16 walks, .701 OBP, 1.235 slugging; 6-4 pitching record.
Quotable: “Breanna is a solid player on both sides. She has a great glove with a great arm. She also is a great hitter who can hit for power and average. Most of all she is a great kid that loves the game.” – Lady Noles coach Jeremy Duke
Corinth, LF, Senior
Notable: .479 ba., 11 HR, 45 RBI, 94 at-bats, 46 hits, 7 doubles, 12 walks, .904 slugging.
Quotable: “Erin is a great player all around, and she played big when it mattered. Every time our backs were against the wall or we needed a big hit in a big game or crucial situation, she always delivered. Her offensive threat forced the opposition to make some difficult decisions.” – Lady Warriors coach Janna LaBarreare
Nettleton, SS, Senior
Notable: .522 ba., 9 HR, 32 RBI, 47 hits, 7 doubles, 1 triple, 58 runs, 19 walks, .609 OBP, .922 slugging, .938 fielding percentage.
Quotable: “Makenzie Hawkins is one of the best players I have ever coached. She is a tremendous all-around player who possesses a great attitude and an outstanding desire to win. She was a vital part of our team and has been since the eighth grade.” – Lady Tigers coach Dana Rhea
Tishomingo County, SS, Senior
Notable: .703 ba., 11 HR, 50 RBI, 64 hits, 41 extra-base hits, 15 intentional walks, hit into 25 outs in 34 games.
Quotable: “She had 191 career hits. You divide that into four, you will see how many hits she (averaged) had every year. Her 191 career hits are the second most we’ve ever had. We had a girl one time who had 202.” – Lady Braves coach Jerry Long
Corinth, LCF, Junior
Notable: .580 ba., 7 HR, 30 RBI, 76 hits, 21 doubles, 3 triples, .601 OBP, .947 slugging, 73 putouts.
Quotable: “She roams the outfield, makes great plays, and gets good reads on the ball, while she leads and directs the ones around her. She is a tremendous offensive threat with the strength of her swing as well as her aggressive base running.” – Lady Warriors coach Janna LaBarreare
Nettleton, LF, Freshman
Notable: .567 ba., 11 HR, 64 RBI, 55 hits, 7 doubles, 6 triples, 50 runs, 9 walks, .615 OBP, 1.103 slugging, .865 fielding percentage.
Quotable: “Jabria Pounds is a great young player. Jabria stepped right into the starting lineup this year like she had been there the whole time. She has the potential to do great things for our ballclub and we are looking forward to seeing exactly what that is.” – Lady Tigers coach Dana Rhea
Hatley, OF, Sophomore
Notable: .605 ba., 25 HR, 69 RBI, 64 runs.
Quotable: “Courtney is a tremendous athlete and competitor. She never ceases to amaze me at the things she can do on the field.” – Lady Tigers coach Chris George
Corinth, SS, Junior
Notable: .564 ba., 6 HR, 54 RBI, 63 hits, 22 doubles, 2 triples, .541 OBP, .856 slugging, 95 putouts, 103 assists, .900 fielding percentage.
Quotable: “Not only did Stennett’s offensive presence play a significant role in our success, but her defense was absolutely phenomenal. She played the middle very well and turned several double plays as our shortstop. We have her cut the ball from every area of the outfield because of her arm, the accuracy of her throw, and the good decisions she makes with the ball.” – Lady Warriors coach Janna LaBarreare
Capsules compiled by John Wilbert