Avants leads Dream TeamPublished 4:00am Sunday, June 8, 2014
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Bogue Chitto senior outfielder excels
Bogue Chitto’s 2014 Cinderella season concluded as the Lady Cats captured their third fastpitch softball state championship in five years. The Lady Cats rallied back to successfully defeat the Hamilton Lady Lions in two straight games two weeks ago after falling in the opener Friday night. Center fielder Mattie Avants played a huge role throughout the season, both offensively and defensively, to help Bogue Chitto make a magical return trip to the promise land.
For her performance, Avants has been selected the Most Valuable Player on The Daily Leader’s 2014 All-Area Fastpitch Softball Team.
Two more special Daily Leader awards went to sophomore first baseman Ali Gartman of Loyd Star, who was selected Offensive Player of the Year; and sophomore pitcher Elizabeth Smith of Lawrence County, who was named Defensive Player of the Year.
Joining Elizabeth Smith on the all-area dream team were pitchers Kaitlyn Taylor of Copiah Academy, Alana Nettles of Bogue Chitto and Hannah Moak of Parklane Academy.
Playing at catcher were Kelly Byrd of Copiah Academy, Alexsundria Thomas of Lawrence County, Mallory Allen of Bogue Chitto and Krislyn Kent of Franklin County.
Gartman was joined in the infield by Daley Roberts of Bogue Chitto, Katie Grace Culpepper of Brookhaven, Jordan Jones of Copiah Academy, Sarah Robinson of Wesson and Lauren Wells of North Pike.
The dream team’s flex players are Katherine Shell of Brookhaven, Jamie Martin of Lawrence County, Malori Hall of West Lincoln, Kayla Britt of Wesson and Jordan Fitzgerald of North Pike.
The dream team extra players selection was Zariah Matthews of Bogue Chitto, Jazmin Thomas of Lawrence County, Destiny Allen of West Lincoln, Anna Grace Covington of Brookhaven Academy and Morgan Webb of Parklane Academy.
Avants led the team in the outfield as she was joined by Lexie Butler of Loyd Star, Brianna Fauver of West Lincoln, Allison Livingston of Brookhaven Academy, Micah Redd of West Lincoln and Jamecia Starks of Franklin County.
Bogue Chitto coach Scott Leggett said Avants is an exceptional athlete both offense and defense. “Mattie Avants is a smart hitter and she is very athletic. At the plate, she help made things happen with her slap hitting to spark our offense. In the outfield, she is one the best that I have coached. She is fundamentally sound with a great arm and a great glove to go with it.”
Mattie Avants, senior right-hander, is a tough player who will battle for everything both offensively and defensively.
Avants led the Lady Cats with .487 batting average, while collecting 21 RBIs, 5 doubles and 5 triples. Defensively, she frustrated opposing teams with her .975 fielding percentage.
Avants has signed an athletic scholarship to play softball for the Co-Lin Lady Wolves.
“Mattie has been a big part of our team the last five years,” continued Leggett. “She is a joy to coach and we will definitely miss her next year.”
Ali Gartman, a sophomore right-hander, provided a huge bat at the plate for the Loyd Star Lady Hornets. On defense, she is the Lady Hornets fixture at first base, batted .419, with 8 home runs and collected 29 RBIs.
In the infield, she posted a .974 fielding percentage as the anchor at first base with a 164 putouts.
Loyd Star coach Jan Delaughter said “Ali Gartman is a very good hitter with a great swing. Her patience at the plate and her eye for the ball allows her to hit the pitch that she wants. Her dominance at the plate this year was a great asset to our team’s success. She holds the school record for home runs hit in a single season. She has a bright future if she continues to work hard.”
Elizabeth Smith, a sophomore right-hand hurdler, sparkled on the mound for Lawrence County. Smith’s 23-6 record was amazing as she struck out 165 batters in 172 innings to post a outstanding 0.81 ERA.
Lawrence County coach Meleah Howard said “Elizabeth Smith is a hard working dedicated pitcher that every coach dreams of having. Her biggest asset is that she listens and absorbs what we tell her. Elizabeth seems to get better and better as she gets older. I can not wait to see how much she improves in her upcoming years.”
Kaitlyn Taylor, a senior, compiled a 20-3 record for Copiah Academy. At the plate, she batted .393.
Alana Nettles, a sophomore, posted an 16-3 record for Bogue Chitto. As a batter, she had a .363 average.
Hannah Moak, a senior, provided the Parklane with a 26-3 worksheet. At the plate, she had a .344 batting average.
Kelly Byrd, a junior, was the offensive leader at the plate for Copiah Academy, batting a .525.
Alexsundria Thomas, a sophomore, had a .362 batting average for the Lawrence County Lady Cougars.
Krislyn Kent, a junior, flourished at catcher spot in the season. She batted .368 on the season for the Lady Bulldogs.
Mallory Allen, a junior, batted .330 for Coach Leggett Lady Cats.
Daley Roberts, a junior, had an .460 average at the plate for Bogue Chitto.
Katie Grace Culpepper, a junior, provided leadership and helped the Lady Panthers get to the playoffs. She finished the season with an .341 batting average.
Jordan Jones, a junior, is a talented athlete. She batted an .458 at the plate for Copiah Academy.
Sarah Robinson, a senior, orchestrated a .462 batting average for the Lady Cobras of Wesson
Lauren Wells, a senior, posted a .376 batting average for North Pike.
Katherine Shell, a sophomore, batted .352 for the Brookhaven Lady Panthers.
Jamie Martin, a junior, batted .456 for Lawrence County.
Malori Hall, a junior, posted a 8-4 record for West Lincoln on the mound, while batting a .464 at the plate.
Kayla Britt, a junior, played a big part in the field for Wesson. She compiled a .397 batting average for the Lady Cobras.
Jordan Fitzgerald, a junior, had a .257 batting average for the Lady Jaguars.
Zariah Matthews, a sophomore, had great speed around the bases for the Lady Cats. She earned a .473 batting average.
Jazmin Thomas, a senior, earned a .353 batting average for Lawrence County.
Destiny Allen, a senior, brought a lot of talent to the Lady Bears. She batted a .432 on the season.
Anna Grace Covington, a freshmen, had a great season as she batted .474 for the Brookhaven Academy Lady Cougars.
Morgan Webb, a sophomore, was a tough individual for the Lady Pioneers. She batted .358 on the season.
Lexie Butler, a senior, provided senior leadership in Loyd Star’s amazing softball season. She average .387 at the plate.
Brianna Fauver, a junior, flexed her muscles for the Lady Bears and compiled an .417 batting average.
Allison Livingston, a sophomore, battled hard offensively for Brookhaven Academy. She batted a .486.
Micah Redd, a junior, provided a strong arm for West Lincoln. She compiled a 6-4 record and averaged a .409 at the plate.
Jamecia Starks, a junior, was the power hitter for the Franklin County Lady Bulldogs. She had a .438 batting average.