Softball

Softball

June 6th, 2012 in Bestofpreps2012

Player of the Year

Kelsey Nunley

Photo by Jake Daniels/Times Free Press.

Kelsey Nunley

Graduated Soddy-Daisy pitcher Kelsey Nunley will wear No. 33 for the University of Kentucky, which is different from her high school career.

When Soddy-Daisy coach Clifford Kirk first saw the right-hander pitch, she was a skinny middle-schooler at Loftis. Soon after that, he planned to have jersey No. 4 waiting for her to wear for the Lady Trojans.

"Some of his best pitchers wore No. 4. That's what my dad explained to me," Nunley said. "I just felt honored to be able to wear it."

In 2012, Nunley joined former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga standout pitchers Ashley Frizzell and Nikki Waters, former wearers of No. 4 at Soddy-Daisy, as two-time members of Class AAA state-championship teams. Nunley ended up 36-4 with 31 shutouts, an ERA of 0.45 and 12 no-hitters this season. She allowed 95 hits and 21 walks in 246 innings, while striking out 401.

"She's got a different mindset than most people," Kirk said. "She knew what she wanted, and she really wanted this one. She gained some weight over the years, got a little stronger, and I felt like her senior year was her best year."

Coach of the Year

Tina Walker

Photo by Jake Daniels/Times Free Press.

Tina Walker

Sixth-year Grace Academy coach Tina Walker, who was assisted by husband Alan and John Parshall, looked around at the first practice and saw six players. Knowing three others would be along after basketball season helped a little.

"We had enough to play," Walker said, "but if anybody got hurt, we were in trouble."

Carmen Fillers and Zee Lawrence, freshmen with a little softball experience in their backgrounds, were coaxed into joining and adding some depth to the roster. Now they and the others are part of a state-championship team - the first in any sport at the Class A school.

And the Lady Golden Eagles did it the hard way, after losing their first game in the state tournament. After a "heart-to-heart" team meeting right afterward, they won out.

"My seniors stepped up," Walker said of Bethany Cowart, Lexie Dean, Kaitlyn Eldridge and Reagan Schrader. "We told them, 'We're going to go as far as you carry us.'"

Taylor Baird

Photo by Doug Strickland/Times Free Press.

Taylor Baird

Ooltewah

Senior pitcher

She had a 27-7 record and a 1.35 ERA with 32 walks allowed and 190 strikeouts in 182 innings.

Emily Boyd

Photo by Doug Strickland/Times Free Press.

Emily Boyd

NW Whitfield

Junior pitcher

She pledged to Ole Miss after going 29-6 with four no-hitters, a 0.67 ERA and 230 Ks in 201 innings.

Erika Burkhart

Photo by Doug Strickland/Times Free Press.

Erika Burkhart

Ringgold

Senior outfielder

She batted .530 with four homers, nine triples, 12 doubles, 11 stolen bases, 43 RBIs and 40 runs.

Ericka Bynum

Photo by Doug Strickland/Times Free Press.

Ericka Bynum

Ringgold

Junior

Infielder

She committed to Shorter after batting .465 with nine homers, 16 doubles, 33 runs and 63 RBIs.

Emily Dagnan

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

Emily Dagnan

Sequatchie County

Senior catcher

The Chattanooga State signee hit .500 with 11 homers, four triples, 20 doubles and 70 RBIs.

Shaliyah Geathers

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

Shaliyah Geathers

East Hamilton

Junior outfielder

The UT commitment hit .496 with 19 extra-base hits, 40 steals, 56 runs scored and 26 RBIs.

Lauren Lewis

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

Lauren Lewis

Baylor

Freshman outfielder

She batted .384 with a season school-record 11 homers, 16 other extra-base hits and 63 RBIs.

Brenna Nation

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

Brenna Nation

Gordon Lee

Senior

Pitcher

She was 24-0 with a 0.49 ERA for the repeat state champs and was 71-1 for her prep career.

Kelsey Payne

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

Kelsey Payne

East Hamilton

Sophomore utility

She batted .443 with 11 home runs among her 25 extra-base hits, and she drove in 60 runs.

Jesslyn Stockard

Photo by Doug Strickland/Times Free Press.

Jesslyn Stockard

Heritage

Junior infielder

She had a .480 average, nine homers, 15 doubles, 46 RBIs and 40 runs for a state-tournament team.

Sam Taylor

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

Sam Taylor

Gordon Lee

Senior infielder

The state champs' future UTC player hit .526 with 47 runs, 37 RBIs, seven doubles and eight triples.

Brook Womack

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

Brook Womack

Central

Junior infielder

The Southern Illinois commitment hit .466 with 22 extra-base hits, 55 runs, 41 RBIs and 30 steals.

Second Team

Bethany Cowart Grace Academy Senior Outfielder

Lexie Dean Grace Academy Senior Infielder

Savannah Goldsmith Heritage Junior Utility

Sidney Hooper Walker Valley Junior Pitcher

Kendall Johnson Gordon Lee Senior Infielder

Mykeah Johnson NW Whitfield Junior Infielder

Chandler McKinney Dalton Senior Outfielder

Cassi Pickett Baylor Sophomore Catcher

Lydia Ritchie Bledsoe County Junior Pitcher

Hayley Robinson Ringgold Senior Infielder

Shelby Willard Central Senior Pitcher

Noelle Winkles Baylor Sophomore Outfielder

Third Team

Brooke Baxter Marion County Junior Outifielder

Madison Boyd GPS Senior Outfielder

Ashton Condra Sequatchie County Senior Pitcher

Abby Daniels Ooltewah Senior Catcher

Kaitlyn Eldridge Grace Academy Senior Infielder

Madison Gossett Dade County Sophomore Pitcher

Cassidy Hackney Soddy-Daisy Junior Infielder

Maryann Morgan Lakeview-F.O. Junior Infielder

Hannah Powell Central Junior Utilty

Haley Reynolds Soddy-Daisy Sophomore Infielder

Leslie Still Walker Valley Senior Outfielder

Allison Vaughn Heritage Junior Pitcher