by Christopher Dunn
& Rob Grubbs
Fall accolades kick off with the girls of the diamond. The 2017 All-County Softball Team represents the best of the best from another fun season. It was a strong year for the county as Starr’s Mill, Whitewater, and McIntosh all made the state playoffs, while Fayette County, Sandy Creek, and Our Lady of Mercy showed a lot of improvement from their young rosters.
Among the team performances are individual accomplishments to be recognized.
Leading off the honors is Player of the Year Katelyn Perry of Whitewater. Perry, a senior shortstop, crushed opposing pitching to the tune of a .544 batting average with 1 home run, 42 RBIs, and 30 runs. Combined with her stellar defense, Perry pushed a young Wildcat team to the state playoffs.
“Katelyn has had a big impact on Whitewater softball for the past four years,” said her coach, Robert Townsend. “She is hardworking, a leader, and a great player.”
Hitter of the Year is Rikkelle Miller of Fayette County. Miller, a senior catcher, put up an absolutely ridiculous stat line with an .833 batting average, 6 home runs, and 19 RBIs in just 11 games on the rare occasions when the other teams were willing to pitch to her. Behind the plate, she added 14 pickoffs.
Pitcher of the Year is Paige Andrews of Starr’s Mill. Andrews, a sophomore, compiled an 11-2 record with a 1.76 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 75 innings. At the plate, she hit .321 with 17 RBIs.
“Paige is a high character athlete that wants the best for her team,” said Starr’s Mill coach Mark Williamson. “She is a fierce competitor that seems to thrive in pressure situations.”
In an unusually competitive race, the Freshman of the Year is Rebecca Muh of McIntosh. Muh, a pitcher, posted a 10-9 record and 1.86 ERA with 175 strikeouts and just 18 walks in 131 innings. At the plate, she hit .284 with 8 RBI.
““She is a very hard worker,” said McIntosh coach Carlie Anderson. “She is very focused, and it takes a lot to rattle her.”
The All-County First Team kicks off behind the plate with Kate Ashmore of Starr’s Mill and Erica Bowers of Sandy Creek. Ashmore, a junior, hit .436 with 2 home runs, 36 RBIs, and 35 runs. Bowers, a senior, hit .510 with 6 home runs, 40 RBIs, and just one strikeout in 67 plate appearances.
The infield is composed of Starr’s Mill’s Jordan Childress and Laura Sellers and Whitewater’s Lily Griffith and Raeghan Byrom. Childress, a senior at second base, hit .439 with 3 home runs and 38 RBIs. Sellers, a junior at first base, hit .365 with 2 home runs and 17 RBIs. Griffith, a freshman at third base, hit .398 with 28 RBIs and 35 runs. Byrom, a freshman at second base, hit .384 with 20 RBIs and 17 runs.
The outfield is made up of a trio of centerfielders in Bailey Vessell of Whitewater, Lea Duben of Starr’s Mill, and Mollie McEldoon of McIntosh. Vessell, a junior, hit .456 with 1 home run, 18 RBIs, and 40 runs. Duben, a junior, hit .415 with 36 runs, 26 walks, and 21 stolen bases on 22 attempts. McEldoon, a sophomore, hit .288 with 11 RBIs, 11 walks, 6 steals, and 17 runs.
The pitchers are Lindsey George of Fayette County and Whitewater’s Kinsey Sords and Emma Vessell. George, a freshman, posted a 4.11 ERA as the Tigers’ ace, while also hitting .545 with 2 home runs and 10 RBIs in 11 games. Sords, a senior, posted a 12-4 record with a 2.56 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 68 innings. Vessel, a freshman, posted a 6-3 mark with a 3.10 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 54 innings.
The First Team is rounded out by a trio of flex players, Lily Metsker of Sandy Creek and Starr’s Mill’s Lauren Flanders and Wakana Sato. Metsker, a junior outfielder, pitcher, and third base, hit .412 with 21 runs and 13 walks. Flanders, a lightning-quick freshman outfielder and infielder, hit .443 with 40 runs and 30 steals on 32 attempts. Sato, a junior pitcher and utility player, hit .425 with 7 RBIs and 13 runs with a 5-2 record and 3.65 ERA on the mound.
The All-County Second Team kicks off with Hayley Gill of McIntosh and Alexys Buffington of Whitewater behind the plate. Gill, a senior, hit .263 with 16 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. Buffington, a sophomore, hit .314 with 8 RBIs in 51 at bats.
The infield is made up of Alexis Larrow of Whitewater, Rasheedah Hasan of Fayette County, and Starr’s Mill’s Emily Nieuwstraten and Alyssa Angelo. Larrow, a sophomore at first base, hit .387 1 home run, 25 RBIs, and 15 runs. Hasan, a sophomore short stop, is a big bat on the rise for the Tigers. Nieuwstraten, a senior at third base, hit 3 home runs with 11 RBIs and 18 runs. Angelo, a junior short stop, hit 1 home run with 6 RBIs and 10 runs.
The outfield consists of Kendall Robinson of Starr’s Mill and Whitewater’s Kyna Cheney and Katie Goss. Robinson, a sophomore, hit .385 with 14 RBIs, 11 runs, and 14 stolen bases. Cheney, a freshman, hit .328 with 1 home run, 20 RBIs, and 12 runs. Goss, a freshman, hit .313 with 15 RBIs and 10 runs.
Morgan Hurd of McIntosh slots in at DP. Hurd, a sophomore, hit .250 with 6 RBIs.
The pitchers are Kate Flanagan of Whitewater and Kaliyah Smith of Sandy Creek. Flanagan, a junior, posted a 3-1 record with a 3.39 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 25 innings. Smith, a freshman, posted a 4.51 ERA with 87 strikeouts in 77 innings and hit .400 with 2 home runs, 17 RBIs, and 17 runs.
The team is rounded out by the flex players Meagan McCamphill of McIntosh and Our Lady of Mercy’s Rachael Bryant and D’mya Walker. McCamphill, a senior who played all over the infield, hit .269 with 16 RBIs, 21 runs, and 10 steals. Bryant, a junior catcher, hit .305 with 21 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. Walker, a senior infielder, hit .292 with 1 home run and 20 RBIs.
There are still several talented players deserving of recognition. Honorable mention players are CassiDee Rotolo (McIntosh), Grace Arquette (Sandy Creek), Becca Baileys (Whitewater), and Nikera Maddox (Our Lady of Mercy).
All-Freshman Softball Team
Most years, there will be typically be just a small batch of productive freshmen at the varsity level in any sport. This year saw an explosion of first-year talent on the diamond, so much so that we felt it deserving to name a 2017 All-Freshman Softball Team for the county.
Lindsey George, P
Ashlyn Gaines, OF
Savannah Moore, MHS
Rebecca Muh, P
Grace Arquette, OF
Kaliyah Smith, P/3B/OF
Lauren Flanders, IF/OF
Raeghan Byrom, 2B
Kyna Cheney, OF
Katie Goss, OF
Lily Griffith, 3B
Emma Vessell, P
Our Lady of Mercy
Assata Eason, 1B
Sophia Launay, 2B
Nicole LoMonaco, P
To purchase photos from softball season, click here.