Davis Player of Year; Brill, Dunaway earn honors

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, May 28, 2002

A mixture of youth, experience and an abundance of talenthighlight The Daily Leader’s All-Area Girls Fastpitch Softball Teamfor the 2001-02 school year. Senior pitcher Ashley Davis ofLawrence County is the DL’s Player of the Year. Senior MelissaBrill of Loyd Star is the Offensive Player of the Year and seniorGinny Dunaway of Brookhaven is the Defensive Player of theYear.

Joining Davis on the All-Area pitching staff are Brill and MandyVinson of Brookhaven. The catchers are Randi Moak of Bogue Chitto,Amber Beeson of Brookhaven Academy and Krysta Conn of LoydStar.

Infielders include Dunaway and Samantha Boutwell of Brookhaven,Gina McCloud of Lawrence County, Ashley Palomarez of Enterprise andEmily Langley of Brookhaven Academy.

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The utility players are BreighAnna Dawsey of Lawrence County andEmily Smith of Enterprise. Meleah Brown of Bogue Chitto is thedesignated hitter.

Outfielders include Chuvaquah Smith of Brookhaven, Amanda Givensof Lawrence County, Whitney Hedgepeth of Loyd Star and LaceyPalomarez of Enterprise.

The Dream Team was selected by the DL sports staff, with inputprovided by college coaches.

Davis compiled a 20-13-2 record in leading the LCHS Lady Cougarsto the Class 4A South State championship series. A right-hander,she boasts an assortment of pitches to keep opposing batters offbalance. In her arsenal are a fastball, curveball, changeup,riseball, screwball and off-speed.

“Ashley played a key role for us,” said LCHS head coach VeronicaStringfellow. “She stepped up and lead our team. She will be hardto replace.”

Besides having a variety of pitches, Davis displayed endurance.”Ashley’s max was four (tournament) games in one day,” saidStringfellow. “She was throwing just as hard in the last game asshe was in the first. She never let up.”

Davis’ fastball has been clocked at 58-60 miles per hour. Shehas signed a scholarship with Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

The daughter of Terry and Rose Davis began pitching as asophomore. Buddy Waterbury, a pitching coach from Madison, helpeddevelop her skills. She produced 4 no-hitters and 9 shutouts thisseason. She recorded 153 strikeouts in 179 innings, allowing just37 walks.

Davis said she plans to enter the medical field, take premedcourses at Co-Lin and eventually become a surgeon.

Melissa Brill, a talented pitcher (10-4) and hitter (.500) movedto Loyd Star from Kansas for her senior year. She led the LadyHornets to the Division 7-1A-2A championship under first-year headcoach Jan Delaughter.

At the plate, Brill hit to all fields. “I can place my pitches,fastball and changeup, real well. I really enjoyed playing for LoydStar. I’m going to miss my teammates.”

It was a comeback year for Brill who missed her junior campaigndue to a knee injury. As a senior, she recorded 66 strikeouts and31 walks.

Brill is moving back to Chanute, Kan. She plans to attend NeoshoCounty Junior College and play softball. She wants to major inbusiness and accounting.

She wears jersey No. 24 in memory of her mother, DeloresMartinez, who passed away on April 24, 1996. Her mother was born onOct. 24.

“Melissa really made a difference in our team,” said CoachDelaughter. “She’s an exceptional pitcher and hitter.”

Ginny Dunaway, a second baseman for Coach Lisa Covington’s LadyPanthers, has signed a scholarship with Co-Lin. She batted .313 asa senior and .475 as a junior. She stole 16 bases and was selectedMVP on the BHS squad.

“Ginny is a leader on and off the field,” said Covington. “She’sa hard worker.” She stole 16 bases this season.

Dunaway led the Lady Panthers to a runners-up finish in Division6-4A and a berth in the state playoffs. She is the daughter ofNorman and Peggy Dunaway.

She has been playing second base for six years and enjoys theaction. “You’re always moving at second base. You have to back upthe shortstop, the first baseman and the pitcher, too.”

Dunaway said she wants to pursue a career in x-ray technology atCo-Lin.

Mandy Vinson, a sophomore, fashioned a 9-9 record for the LadyPanthers who advanced to the state playoffs.

Randi Moak, a junior, led Bogue Chitto’s Lady ‘Cats with a .485batting average.

Krysta Conn, a junior, batted .295 for the Lady Hornets as theyfinished 13-6.

Amber Beeson, a sophomore, batted .300 for Coach Mary Coggin’sBA Lady Cougars.

Gina McCloud, a sophomore, led the LCHS Lady Cougars with a .365batting average.

Samantha Boutwell, a junior first baseman, led the Lady Pantherswith a .386 average.

Ashley Palomarez, a sophomore, batted .455 for Steve Sasser’sLady Yellow Jackets as they advanced to the second round of theClass 1A-2A state playoffs.

Emily Langley, an eighth grader, batted .489 for the BA LadyCougars and was the team’s MVP.

Breighanna Dawsey, a junior, batted .305 for the LCHS LadyCougars.

Meleah Brown, an eighth grader, batted .452 for the Lady ‘Cats.She also starred as a pitcher for Coach Adrianne Albritton’steam.

Lacey Palomarez, a senior, batted .453 this season. She wasbatting .667 before undergoing shoulder surgery.

Chuvaqua Smith, a sophomore, batted .367 for the LadyPanthers.

Amanda Givens, a senior, batted .285 for the LCHS LadyCougars.

Whitney Hedgepeth, a senior, batted .324 for the LadyHornets.

Emily Smith, a senior, batted .400 for the Lady Jackets.


Bogue Chitto: Brandi Smith, Marley Porter.

Brookhaven: Megan Bateman, Cortney Fielder, Ashley Sykes,Brittany Smith.

Brookhaven Academy: Lindy Salyer, Ashley Ezell, KaciWilliams.

Copiah Academy: Jackie Stowe, Brandi Bridges, Carley Clayton,Emily Scott, Annie Selman

Enterprise: Savannah Palomarez, Nicole Floyd.

Franklin County: Carrie McMinn, Christy Day, Katie Johnson,Alisha Cameron.

Lawrence County: Allie Williamson, Dawn Rushing.

Loyd Star: Nikki Hunsucker, Ashton Williams, Jamekia Henderson,Beth Smith.

Wesson: Kail Baldwin, Millie Smith, Maggie Morgan, BrittanySmith.