Nine Lady Cats named to All-District softball team

By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer

May 12, 2007 - Nine Sulphur Springs girls were honored by the District 12-4A coaches on the All-District softball squad and for Coach David Carrillo seven of those girls will return next season.

"It was a great year," said first year coach David Carrillo. "Anytime you can get all of these kids getting these honors shows that the coaches have a great respect for your program and that is a great thing. The kids are well deserving and played hard and I think other people were able to see that."

Third baseman Mackenzie Morgan was named Newcomer of the Year and senior center fielder Kristen McDonald was the lone senior on the first team for the Lady Cats. Junior pitcher Marci Womack and utility player Amanda McGowin and sophomore shortstop Brittani Crawford were also named to the first team.

On the second team were freshman catcher Maurie Lewis, sophomore first baseman Katie Dodd and junior left fielder Kelsey Evans, while senior right fielder Tarra Morton was named honorable mention.

Morgan was the top honoree as she was able to make the switch from second base to third during the season and had a strong district season to go with it. In 11 district games, she had four errors in 48 chances and was second in batting average at .256 with one RBI and five runs scored.

"Mac is definitely a player that we are going to count on for the next three years that we have her," Carrillo said. "That is such a great honor and when we put her up that is a reflection on how much she was able to show up for our team. That is a great big honor and a lot of big shoes to fill and this is the beginning for her."

After finishing as a second team center fielder last year, Kristen MacDonald was named to the first team for her defensive play and she had four putouts this season in center field.

Womack once again had a solid year for the Lady Cats as she went 6-5 during district with a 1.17 ERA with 94 strikeouts and only 11 walks in 84 innings. Womack had just a 1.04 ERA with 22 walks, 182 strikeouts and 111 hits in 161 2/3 innings.

Crawford was strong at shortstop this season with 43 putouts to only six errors. She batted .229 during district and was second in RBI for the season with 10.

"For Kristen, it was a great deal for her to finish out her year and for Marci and Brittani it is a good thing for me because I am able to get them back next year," the coach said. "Those are great problems to have and when you bring players up and coaches are asking what grades they are in and you are saying freshman and sophomores they are amazed at the young talent that we have."

Another surprise for the Lady Cats this season came from McGowin as she received first team utility player for her role at third and second this year. The junior made the switch for third to second and finished the season with a .239 batting average at the top of the lineup. She also was second in runs scored (13) and was second in hits (21). She also made four errors in 33 chances during district.

"That is a big tribute for her (McGowin) also because I started her at third and then made the switch to second and it was able to help both of them and our team tremendously," the coach said.

Carrillo said he was surprised at the decision of Lewis being recognized as second team catcher. The freshman came up after starter Jordan Anderson was sidelined with an injury and finished the year with a .360 batting average with a team leading seven doubles and two triples in 18 games. She batted .281 in district and was second in hits with nine and first in doubles with three.

"Anytime you are up there in a all-district meeting you never know how things will turn out since you can't vote for your own kids," he said. "That is the way that it fell and for Maurie is was unfortunate for her. She is such a great talent for a young player and I ranked her up there with Mac this year."

Dodd rounded out the second team selections at first base and had only two errors in 112 chances during the district season. She batted .139 as the clean-up batter in the lineup and finished the season with a .258 average - which was second on the team with a team leading 11 RBI and scored 10 runs for the Lady Cats.

The Lady Cats also had 11 players named to the Academic All-District team as Morton, Anderson, McDonald, Evans, McGowin, Womack, Baleigh Butler, Crawford, Krista McMahan, Dodd and Jamonica Hall received recognition.

"It is great when you know that your players are smart and it helps with playing strategy and coaching them to where they know the point that you are trying to get across," he said. "It didn't surprise me at the banquet when I started looking at their certificates for the Academic All-State.

"It is a great feeling to know that we have so much talent coming back next year. We also have young kids that are foaming at the mouth to challenge for positions next year."

MVP - Laura Rawlings, Mount Pleasant, Sr.

Pitcher of the Year - Kaci Crawford, North Lamar, Jr.

Offensive Player of the Year - Darci Casteel, Mount Pleasant, Sr.

Co-Defensive Player of the Year - Chelsea Steelman, North Lamar, Jr.; Ashton Brey, Lindale, Jr.

Newcomer of the Year - Mackenzie Morgan, Sulphur Springs, Fr.

Outstanding Freshman - Valerie Howell, Lindale.

Coach of the Year - Robert Carr, Mount Pleasant

First Team

Pitchers - Kelsey Harrington, Texas High, Sr.; Brooke Martin, Lindale, Jr.; Marci Womack, Sulphur Springs, Jr.

Catchers - Kara Crawford, North Lamar, Jr.; Kylie Packard, Lindale, Sr.

Infielders - Misti Cosby, Lindale, Sr.; Keely Nusco, Lindale, Jr.; Chaz Jones, Mount Pleasant, Sr.; Brittani Crawford, Soph.; Denise Amador, Mount Pleasant, Sr.

Outfielders - Jalissa Williams, Mount Pleasant, Sr.; Chelsie Shackelford, North Lamar, Soph.; Hannah Gilbert, Lindale, Sr.; Victoria Stewart, Texas High, Sr.; Kristen MacDonald, Sulphur Springs, Sr.

Utility Players - Kellie Head, Paris, Sr.; Amanda McGowin, Sulphur Springs, Jr.

Second Team

Pitchers - Morgan Bond, Lindale, Sr.; Julie Essary, Paris, Jr.

Catcher - Maurie Lewis, Sulphur Springs, Fr.

Infielders - Shonda Aguilar, Mount Pleasant, Sr.; Nikki Haynes, Mount Pleasant, Sr.; Miracle Thurston, Texas High, Sr.; Katie Dodd, Sulphur Springs, Soph.; Ashley Kizer, Lindale, Sr.; Ashley Endsley, North Lamar, Soph.

Outfielders - Morgan Harpole, Lindale, Sr.; Heather McHenry, Paris, Sr.; Natalie Peek, Texas High, Sr.; Kelsey Evans, Sulphur Springs, Jr.

Utility Player - Hannah Jones, Mount Pleasant, Sr.

Honorable Mention

SS player listed only

Outfielder - Tarra Morton, Sulphur Springs, Sr.

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