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Brown leads All-Area dream team

Meleah Brown directed the Bogue Chitto Lady ‘Cats with her batand glove during her team’s highly successful 2005 campaign. Theonly senior on her team, Brown was instrumental in BC’s march tothe Class 1A state championship game. She anchored the team atshortstop and hit the ball with authority.

For her accomplishments, Brown has been selected The DAILYLEADER’s Player of the Year on the All-Area Slowpitch SoftballTeam. Other special honors went to Ashley Sykes of Brookhaven, MostValuable Defensive Player; and Chelsey Miller of Bogue Chitto, MostValuable Offensive Player.

The dream team was selected by the DL sports department, withinput provided by area high school and college softballcoaches.

Asked about her senior season, Brown said, “I felt like I had tobe a leader. Our younger players really stepped up this year. I washoping we could be undefeated. I had high goals.”

Her team finished 28-5, losing to Myrtle in the Class 1Achampionship finals.

Brown’s defensive skills at shortstop are exceptional. “I likebeing able to dive after ball.”

At the plate, Brown batted .541 and collected a team-high 54RBIs. She hit 6 homers, 6 triples and 3 doubles. She had a .938fielding percentage.

Brown, a pitcher in fastpitch softball, said she anticipatesplaying for Copiah-Lincoln Community College next season. She wantsto major in math and eventually become a teacher/coach on the highschool level.

Bogue Chitto head coach Scott Leggett recognized Brown’smultiple talents. “Meleah is a very important part of our team.You’ve got to have a sound shortstop. She has the strongest arm onour team and will field everything.

“Meleah is a real patient hitter, and very selective,” Leggettcontinued. “She has power.”

Sykes also sparkled at shortstop and swung a big bat for the OleBrook Lady Panthers. She posted a .598 batting average, hitting 5homers. She also had 5 triples and 13 doubles as the Lady Pantherswon the Division 6-4A championship.

“There’s a lot of action at shortstop,” said Sykes. “I like toplay deep, especially with a runner on first base.”

Sykes, a 5-foot-7 senior, said the Lady Panthers enjoyed asuccessful campaign. “We lost five seniors last year, so a lot ofour younger players had to step up.”

She said she plans to sign a scholarship with Co-Lin inJanuary.

Coach Lisa Covington said Sykes is a valuable asset to her team.”Ashley has a very strong arm and she is the anchor of our team.She’s not afraid to dive for the ball. At the plate, she can hitthe ball to all fields. She has very good bat control.”

Miller, a junior, used her bat and foot speed to register arecord-high 16 homers for the Lady ‘Cats. She batted .519 and had49 RBIs. She also hit 5 triples and 3 doubles.

Asked about her home run skills, Miller said, “I just hit theball. The first thing I look for is a base hit.”

Miller had a 4-homer outburst against McComb this season.

“Chelsey is real aggressive and swings through the ball,” saidCoach Leggett. “She can rip the cover off the ball. She has powerbecause her bat is so quick.

“She’s our leadoff batter and she’s the fastest player on ourteam,” said Leggett.

Joining Brown, Sykes and Miller on the dream team are pitchersBrittany Smith of Brookhaven, LaToya Braxton of Bogue Chitto andJenna Dickerson of North Pike. The catchers are Shaquille Burton ofBogue Chitto, Katie Smith of Brookhaven, and Kelsey Bass of WestLincoln.

All-Area infielders include Brown, Sykes, Britnee Smith andHolli Smith of West Lincoln and Maygan McCloud of Lawrence County.Outfielders include Miller, Terri Hodges of Brookhaven, AlishaMason of Enterprise, and Sonni Smith of Lawrence County.

Emily Smith of Lawrence County and Emily Langley of BrookhavenAcademy are the team’s extra hitters. Dori Hall of Bogue ChittoJessica Hart of Brookhaven Academy are the utility players.

LaToya Braxton, a junior, compiled a 26-5record for the Lady ‘Cats. At the plate, she batted .400, with 25RBI and 3 homers.

Brittany Smith, a senior, posted a 21-7 recordfor the Lady Panthers. She posted a .465 batting average.

Jenna Dickerson, a senior, crafted a 17-15record for Coach Sonya Wallace’s Lady Jaguars who won their 10thstraight Division 6-3A championship. She batted .378.

Shaquille Burton, a sophomore, made her firstvarsity season a success on offense and defense. She batted .400,hit 2 homers and had 30 RBI.

Britnee Smith, a senior, struggled with lowerback trouble but still managed to bat .478 for Coach Andrew Redd’sLady Bears.

Maygan McCloud,a junior, batted .394 for CoachTarvey Ward’s Lady Cougars. She had 14 RBI.

Terri Hodges, a sophomore, batted .448 for theLady Panthers.

Candace Avants, a junior, batted .422 for theLady ‘Cats.

Alisha Mason, a senior, batted .547 for CoachSteve Sasser’s Lady Yellow Jackets. She hit 5 homers.

Sonni Smith, a senior, batted .474 for LawrenceCounty.

Jessica Hart, a 2005 graduate, batted .585 forthe BA Lady Cougars and signed with Copiah-Lincoln CommunityCollege.

Dori Hall, a junior, batted .394 for BogueChitto.

Emily Smith, a senior, batted .679 for LawrenceCounty. She hit 7 homers and collected 36 RBI.

Emily Langley, a senior, batted .563 for CoachRicky Allen’s Lady Cougars.

HONORABLE MENTION WITH DISTINCTION

Bogue Chitto: Kelli Howard, Devon Welch.

Brookhaven: Jana Wallace, Katie Stewart, KellyVinson.

Brookhaven Academy: Maddie Allen, AbbyWilliams, Kristian Davidson.

Enterprise: Kasey Rutland, Lindsey Everett,Amanda Price.

Lawrence County: Krystal Carr, Lorrin Baker,Shaina Starks, Jessica Johnson.

North Pike: Catherine West, Leonna Ballard.

Wesson: Julie Berry, Summer Easterling.

West Lincoln: Holli Smith, Carrie Fauver, KeriEasley, Brittani Phillips.