Youth highlights Star's softball team
By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
Dec. 18, 2001
It wouldn't take a brilliant coach to pick a winning lineup out of the 25 players chosen to The Meridian Star's Fall Softball All-Area Team.
Seventy-three girls were nominated for the team by area coaches, which was then selected by sports writer Marty Stamper and East Mississippi Group regional sports director Austin Bishop.
Most of the All-Area Team will return next year, as only six are seniors. A dozen are juniors, with seven being sophomores.
A trio of heavy-slugging first basemen were selected. Betsy Clark of Class 3A state champion Newton County batted .570 with six extra base hits. The senior also had 18 multiple hit games and 47 RBIs as the Lady Cougars went 34-3.
Also at first base is Union sophomore Lauren White, who batted .517 with 12 doubles, 12 triples, and 56 RBIs for the 26-7 team that tied for third place in Class 1A.
Completing the first base trio is Clarkdale senior Ashley Satcher. She batted .508 with nine doubles, four triples, three homers, and 52 RBIs as the Lady Bulldogs went 24-12 and finished state runner-up in Class 2A.
Four players were chosen at second base. West Lauderdale junior Amy Frazier batted .582 with 14 doubles, eight triples, four homers, and 57 RBIs. She opened the Class 3A state playoffs going 14-for-14 at the plate for the 34-6 team that tied for third place in 3A.
Northeast Lauderdale junior Lauren Webb batted .519 for the Lady Trojans as they went 33-6 and finished second in the state in Class 4A. She had nine doubles, six triples, five homers, and 52 RBIs. She also scored 67 runs.
Louisville senior Latoya Coleman batted .562 with 42 RBIs for the Class 4A playoff participant Lady Wildcats.
Neshoba Central junior Alana Moore batted .520 for the Lady Rockets as they went 14-16.
Four players were also picked at shortstop. Northeast junior Raleigh Odom batted a sizzling .577 with 12 doubles, 13 triples, 11 homers, and 70 RBIs. She also scored 63 runs.
Newton County junior Kristin Chaney was a defensive whiz for the Lady Cougars in their state title year. At the plate, she batted .475 with 14 extra base hits, 17 multiple hit games, and 30 RBIs.
Clarkdale sophomore Megan Potate batted .477 with five doubles, eight triples, and 45 RBIs.
Another defensive whiz was West Lauderdale senior Amber Joyner, who batted .433 with four doubles, five triples, and 16 RBIs.
Three big-time crushers were chosen at third base. West Lauderdale junior J.J. Huggins batted .559 with 11 doubles, one triple, and 16 homers. She also drew 26 walks and scored 37 runs.
Newton County sophomore Joy Cavenaugh batted .491 with 19 extra base hits, 18 multiple hit games, and 41 RBIs.
Louisville junior Latasha Hickman batted .482 and drove in 72 runs before suffering a season-ending knee injury prior to the state playoffs. She had a 14-game stretch where she averaged six RBIs per contest.
At catcher are Valerie Sherman of Class 5A state playoff participant Meridian, 22-13, and Jennifer Bristow of Northeast.
Sherman, a junior, batted .521 for the Lady Wildcats, while Bristow, a sophomore, batted .455 with 12 doubles, one triple, one homer, and 46 RBIs.
Five pitchers were selected. Newton County junior Suzanne Chaney went 34-3 with 11 shutouts, eight one-run games, and five two-run games. In the 37 games, she issued only 10 walks (five of which were intentional), while striking out 22. At the plate, Chaney batted .520 with five extra base hits and 18 multiple hit games.
Clarkdale sophomore Emily Howard went 18-7 for the Lady Bulldogs. She also batted .432 with seven doubles, two triples, two homers, and 45 RBIs.
Northeast Lauderdale junior Blair Rawson pitched every inning for the Lady Trojans as she went 33-6. On 19 occasions, she allowed two runs or less.
Philadelphia's Mandy Eakes made the switch from outfield to the mound for her senior year and went 12-12 for the 2000 Class 2A state champions. She still swung a hot bat, as her .506 average indicates.
Leake Academy sophomore Anna Lisa Posey is the only fast pitch player to make the all-area first team. In earning Academy AA all-state honors, she went 15-12 with 98 strikeouts. Posey pitched 140 of Leake's 143 innings as the Lady Rebels finished third in the AA state tournament. She also batted .339.
Four players were chosen as outfielders. Clarkdale junior JorD'an Orr batted .598 with 16 doubles, six triples, six homers, and 37 RBIs.
West Lauderdale senior Hayley Scarborough batted .534 with 11 doubles, four triples, eight homers, and 47 RBIs. She also scored 47 runs.
Newton County junior Shelly Ferguson batted .450 with 11 extra base hits, 15 multiple hit games, and 42 RBIs.
Northeast sophomore Grace Ann Watkins batted .426 with nine doubles, six triples, two homers, and 63 RBIs. She also scored 45 runs.
Selected as honorable mentions are Chantay Frazier (2B) and Kristi Willis (SS) of Choctaw Central; Sabrina Woodall (OF) and Brandi Wright (2B) of Clarkdale; Ashley Mathis (SS) and Charley Speed (1B) of Enterprise; Ashton Agent (OF), Heather Bain (1B), Kristen Chipley (2B), Jessica Dickens (C), and Sarah James (OF) of Leake Academy;
Samantha Hardin (OF) of Louisville; Andra Daniels (1B) and Stephanie Nelson (2B/OF) of Meridian; Courtnee Graham (1B), Alana Hickman (3B), Christy Hickman (OF), Jaimee Jones (OF), Liz Kirk (P), and Ashley Pugh (SS) of Nanih Waiya; Kadye Chandler (OF), Amber Dean (SS), Lee Smith (1B), Lindsey Smith (P), and Sarah Williamson (OF) of Neshoba Central;
Kotreece Bender (SS) and Nikki Bender (C) of Newton; Kristal Burton (C), Krissi Harris (2B), Holly Jackson (OF), and Dominique Mapp (OF) of Newton County; Katie Bergin (OF), Amber Gray (1B), and Jana Olczak (3B) of Northeast Lauderdale;
Lacey Sanborn (P) and Deidre Triplett (OF) of Noxapater; Jhaun Sparnecht (OF) of Philadelphia; Gabby Morgan (OF) of Quitman; Lindsey Raines (SS) and Heather Ward (3B) of Southeast Lauderdale;
Amy Dolan (3B), LaSaundra Harrison (OF), Morgan Milling (OF), Marley Smith (SS), and Tiffany Thomas (C) of Union; and Jessica Ethridge (P), Courtney Godwin (OF), and Kristina Gardner (OF) of West Lauderdale.
No nominations were received from Bay Springs, Heidelberg, Forest, Lake, Noxubee County, Wayne County, or Winston Academy.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at email@example.com or call him at 693-1551, ext. 3235.