Miller crowned queen of slowpitch

Published 6:00 am Monday, December 11, 2006

Slowpitch softball is a hitting game. When it comes to offense,Bogue Chitto’s Chelsey Miller lit up the scoreboard with herhitting and running skills. She helped lead the Lady ‘Cats to a30-4 record and a state runners-up finish in the MHSAA Class 1AState Tournament.

For her accomplishments, Miller has been selected Most ValuablePlayer and Miss Softball on The DAILY LEADER’s 2006 All-AreaSlowpitch Softball Team. She batted .611 and starred in left fieldon defense. She accounted for 37 RBIs, 4 homers, 3 triples and 2doubles. She also had a .658 on-base percentage.

“Chelsey is a real gritty player,” said Bogue Chitto head coachScott Leggett. “She has great speed and swings the bat with power.She hustles on every play.”

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Miller, a slender 5-foot-6 blond, uses an Anderson RocketTechbat to collect her hits.

“We had an awesome team at Bogue Chitto,” said Miller. “We had avery good defense.”

Miller is joined on the DL’s Dream Team by several teammates whoreceived special awards. LaToya Braxton and Shaquille Burton postedbig numbers at the plate and were chosen Co-Best Offensive Players.Left-centerfielder Candace Avants was named Best DefensivePlayer.

Also named to the Dream Team from Bogue Chitto were catcherBlaine Myers, first baseman Dori Hall, and infielder DevonWelch.

Representing Brookhaven are pitcher Brianna Ashmore, catcherJordan Beeson, infielder Terri Hodges and extra hitter ChristiMartin.

West Lincoln is represented by infielder Holli Smith.Representing Lawrence County are pitcher Bridgee Williams andinfielder Ashley Jones.

Franklin County’s players include catcher Desiree Buie, utilityplayer Latanya Williams and outfielder Monea Cameron.

Division 3A champion North Pike is represented by utility playerLeonna Ballard and outfielder Catherine West.

The Dream Team was selected by the DL’s sports staff, with inputprovided by area high school and college coaches.

Shaquille Burton, a junior, batted .538 andaccounted for a team-high 60 RBIs. She also hit 9 home runs.

“Shaquille learned to play without pressure this year,” saidCoach Leggett. “She hammers the center of the ball with confidence.She can hit to all fields and has good speed on the bases,too.”

Burton said, “The key to my hitting is keeping my eye on theball.”

LaToya Braxton, a senior, compiled a 29-4record on the mound. At the plate, she batted .520 for the Lady’Cats. She hit 5 homers and had 39 RBIs.

“LaToya does a great job on the mound,” said Leggett. “Sheconsistently throws strikes. The most walks she gave up this yearwas two in one game.

“This was her best year batting, too. She has a high on-base(.643) percentage.”

Braxton said getting ahead of a batter was imperative. “Thefirst pitch has to be a strike.”

Candace Avants, a senior, batted .369 and had25 RBIs. Defense in left-center field was her forte.

“Candace covers a lot of ground in the outfield,” said Leggett.”She has a great arm. She took away a lot of base hits with herthrows. She threw out a lot of runners at second and third base,too.”

Asked about her defensive skills, Avants said, “I have to beaware of every situation and every batter. I have to be ready forthe ball.”

Brianna Ashmore, a sophomore, posted a 20-8record for Coach Lisa Covington’s Lady Panthers. They finishedthird in the region race.

Bridgee Williams, a junior, compiled a 20-8pitching record for Coach Jill Haney’s Lawrence County LadyCougars. They won the Division 6-4A region title.

Jordan Beeson, a sophomore, worked behind theplate for Brookhaven. She batted .361.

Blaine Myers, a sophomore, batted .339 for theLady ‘Cats.

Desiree Buie, a freshman, batted .493 for CoachDana Smith’s Franklin County Lady Bulldogs who fashioned an 18-12record and won their 3A division title.

Dori Hall, a senior, batted .469 for the Lady’Cats, collecting 40 RBIs. She starred at first base.

Ashley Jones, a senior, batted .472 for theLCHS squad. She had 14 RBIs.

Holli Smith, a junior, played third base andbatted .443 for Coach Andrew Redd’s West Lincoln Lady Bears whowere Division 1A runners-up to Bogue Chitto. She hit 2 homeruns.

Terri Hodges, a junior, batted .505 for theLady Panthers.

Devon Welch, a senior, batted .437 for the Lady’Cats. She had 27 RBIs.

Latanya Williams, a senior, batted .659 forFranklin County. She hit 9 homers and 12 doubles.

Leonna Ballard, a senior, batted .504, helpinglead Coach Sonya Wallace’s North Pike Jaguars to the division titleand a 24-10 record.

Christi Martin, a senior, batted .505 for theLady Panthers.

Monea Cameron, a junior, batted .677 for theLady Bulldogs. She hit 10 homers and 18 doubles.

Catherine West, a senior, batted .510 for theLady Jaguars.


Bogue Chitto: Kelli Howard, Jessie Miller,Caitlin Owen, Kim Thomas.

Brookhaven: Hannah Lowman, Katie Stewart,Stevie Ann Wright, Sarah Ayers.

Brookhaven Academy: Maddie Allen, EmilyLangley, Lindsey Nations, Katie Watson.

Enterprise: Katie Hux, Sarah Burke, LindseyEverett.

Franklin County: Monea Cameron, Vanity Green,Heather Havard, Taylor Stewart.

Lawrence County: Shaina Starks, AlexandriaHarris, Natalie Harrington , Tiara Griffin. Shelby Mitchell.

Wesson: Ann Shelby Davis, Stacey Lowery,Christina Fink, Nikki McCardle, Jessica Haynes.

West Lincoln: Keri Easley, Alexis Cook, KaceySmith, Ashley McCaffery, Heather Huff.