District Distinction: Lady Cats land seven on All-District squad

Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

May 20, 2004 -- After tying for second place in District 11-4A softball, the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats had the second-most players voted onto the All-District squad, which was released this week.

Senior Melissa McSheffery, named the district MVP last year, won another superlative honor this season as she was voted the Co-Defensive Player of the Year. Classmate Hollie Watson was also a superlative honoree as Pitcher of the Year.

First Team players from Sulphur Springs included shortstop Savana Gibby and center fielder Kristen Cross, who were both unanimous choices in voting by the coaches, left fielder Whitney Gideon and utility player Crystal Smitherman. They are all seniors.

On the Second Team is junior second baseman Casey Carper.

"We had a very good showing. I'm very proud of the girls," said SSHS head coach John McCullough. "We had seven players on the All-District team and had several superlative and First Team awards.

"Overall, I was very proud of the girls, and it showed they had a great year in district. Finished tied for second, we were able to get quite a few girls on the First Team."

McKinney North, which went undefeated in district play, had eight players on the honorary squad, including sophomore pitcher Becky Nye as MVP, freshman Kristen Adkins as Newcomer of the Year and sophomore Megan Lackie, who shared the defensive honor with McSheffery. Sherman senior Lauren Rome was the Offensive Player of the Year.

"McKinney North, with the success they had, had several girls on there. They had some extremely talented young ladies," McCullough said. "For our girls to get recognized the way they did in our district says a lot about their talent and determination and character."

Below is a look at each of the SSHS honorees:

Melissa McSheffery fielded 22 balls in district play without an error at either third base or pitcher. In addition, she batted a team-high .414 in loop play with five extra-base hits, four RBI and five runs. She also went 2-2 on the mound in district, with a 1.04 ERA, striking out 37 and giving up 22 hits and five walks in 27 innings.

Hollie Watson compiled a 5-1 pitching record with an 0.98 ERA in district play. She struck out 53 and allowed 22 hits in 43 innings. She had a .970 fielding percentage, making just one error. She also hit .281 in district with a homerun and a team-high nine RBIs.

Savana Gibby also made just one error at shortstop, making First Team for the second consecutive season. Batting in the clean-up spot in the order, she hit .375 with a pair of doubles, seven RBIs and five runs scored.

Kristen Cross hit .344 in district play, scoring seven runs and stealing three bases. She did not make an error while playing center field in 11-4A games.

Whitney Gideon led the team with eight runs scored and four stolen bases in 11-4A play. She batted .324 with five RBIs and only three strikeouts.

Crystal Smitherman was named as the top utility player as she started in right field, designated player and left field in district play. She hit .344 with five extra base hits, seven RBIs and six runs scored. She also did not make an error.

Casey Carper was the only underclassman honored by the caches. She hit .321 while striking out just twice in 10 district games, the least by any full-time player. She had a pair of extra base hits.

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