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Hodges claims MVP honor

Terri Hodges of Brookhaven is recognized across southwestMississippi for her softball skills. The senior shortstop excels atthe plate and in the field.

Hodges had another great season for the Lady Panthers inslowpitch softball.

She batted .480 and directed her team to a 21-11 record thisfall.

For her performance, Hodges has been selected the Most ValuablePlayer on The DAILY LEADER’s 2007 All-Area Slowpitch SoftballTeam.

Hodges is joined by a talented and outstanding group of players.The Dream Team was selected by the DL sports staff, with inputprovided by area high school and college coaches.

Sharing the DL’s Best Offensive Player award are Kelli Howard ofBogue Chitto and Shaina Starks of Lawrence County. The BestDefensive Player honor is shared by Holli Smith of West Lincoln andAlexandria Harris of Lawrence County.

Also on the dream team are pitchers Casey Risher of Brookhaven,Bridgee Williams of Lawrence County and Halli Sasser of North Pike.The catchers are Karlee Martin of Brookhaven, Morgan Roberts ofBogue Chitto and Hannah Knouse of West Lincoln.

Infielders are Harris, Hodges, Howard and Holli Smith of WestLincoln. Utility players are Darcy Miller of Bogue Chitto, LaceyOrr of Enterprise and Nikki McCardle of Wesson. The extra hittersare Kristen Oglesby of Franklin County and Starks.

Outfielders are Monea Cameron of Franklin County, ShaquilleBurton of Bogue Chitto, Kristina Fink of Wesson and Maggie Dunawayof North Pike.

Hodges, a 5-foot-3 right-hander, uses a Nocona glove atshortstop and a 33-inch, Rocket Tech bat at the plate. A pitcher onBrook’s fastpitch team, she plans to sign a softball scholarshipwith Copiah-Lincoln Community College in January.

The daughter of Dewayne and Sue Hodges also plays forward,defender and goalkeeper on the BHS soccer team. Her favoritesubject in school is math. She wants a career in secondaryeducation and coaching after she graduates from college.

“Terri is an outstanding shortstop because she plays with somuch heart,” said BHS softball coach Lisa Covington. “She has agood arm and she’s not afraid to get dirty. She goes deep in thehole to take away hits.”

Covington said Hodges is a spray hitter. “Terri can hit to allfields. She works hard at it and she is very team oriented,too.”

Hodges led BHS to a runner-up finish in the Division 6-4Arace.

Holli Smith sparkled at third base for theDivision 7-1A champion West Lincoln Lady Bears. She batted .515,using a 34-inch, 26-ounce Worth Mutant bat. She uses a Miken Wickedglove.

“You get a lot of balls hit to you at third base,” said the5-foot-6 Smith. “I like making the throws to first base.”

Smith plans to sign a scholarship with Co-Lin.

“Holli is one of the most dedicated and committed players I’veever come across in a long time,” said West Lincoln coach AndrewRedd. “She’s determined to work hard and get better.”

Kelli Howard, a junior, sparkled on defense atshortstop and at the plate for Bogue Chitto’s Class 1A statechampion Lady ‘Cats. Her clutch hitting and solid defense wereintegral parts of BC’s remarkable drive to the state title.

“Kelli is a good power hitter, especially to the oppositefield,” said BC coach Scott Leggett. “She has good speed, so shecan turn singles into doubles and doubles into triples.”

Howard, at 5-10, also plays basketball. In slowpitch, she used a34-inch, 26-ounce AST Worth bat. She wore a Mizuno glove in thefield.

At the plate, Howard batted .540. She hit 2 homers, 11 triplesand 9 doubles.

Asked about her team’s state title run, Howard said, “Our teamhad the heart and the desire to get it done. We had a very good mixof seniors and underclassmen.”

In the classroom, Howard said she enjoys chemistry the most. Shewants to become either a physical therapist or a veterinarian someday.

Alexandria Harris, a freshman, batted .400 forthe Lady Cougars, earning her team’s MVP honors.

“Alexandria is a very tough one,” said LCHS coach Jill Haney.”She played injured in the playoffs. She caught a ball between herfingers and split the skin. She is very focused.”

Shaina Starks, batted a team-best .625 for theLady Cougars. She was a senior leader for LCHS, playing left-centerfield.

“Shaina automatically gets on base because she is so good withher bat,” said Coach Haney. “She gave us a lot of leadership thisseason.”

Casey Risher, a junior, was a newcomer to BHSbut she gave the Lady Panthers a big boost on offense and defense.She compiled a 21-11 record on the mound and batted .475.

Bridgee Williams, a senior, was the onlypitcher LCHS used this season. She had a 28-11 worksheet.

Halli Sasser, a junior, was instrumental inleading the North Pike Lady Jaguars to the division title. She hada 17-11 record on the mound.,

Hannah Knouse, a junior, batted .320 for WestLincoln’s Lady Bears as they won the Division 7-1A crown.

Morgan Roberts, a senior, batted .304 for BC’sLady Cats.

Karlee Martin, a junior, batted .323 for theLady Panthers.

Darcy Miller, a freshman, batted .380 for theLady ‘Cats. She pitched most of the games in the state playoffdrive.

Lacey Orr, a junior, batted .477 for CoachSteve Sasser’s Lady Yellow Jackets.

Nikki McCardle, a senior, batted .458 for CoachHugh Webb’s Wesson Lady Cobras, earning her team’s MVP honors.

Kristen Oglesby, a junior, batted .580 forCoach Dana Smith’s Lady Bulldogs.

Shaquille Burton, a senior, batted .394 for theLady ‘Cats.

Monea Cameron, a senior, batted . 512 for theLady Bulldogs and hit 7 homers.

Christina Fink, a sophomore, batted .465 forthe Lady Cobras who won the 2A division title.

Maggie Dunaway, a senior, batted .553 for theLady Jaguars, leading them to the division 3A crown. She slugged 14homers and drove in 53 runs.

HONORABLE MENTION WITH DISTINCTION

Bogue Chitto: Jessie Miller, Blaine Myers,Josie Porter, Caitlin Owen.

Brookhaven: Katie Stewart, Hannah Lowman,Georgia Rae Rainer.

Brookhaven Academy: Kacey Rutland, Alex Grant,Anna Katelyn Mangold.

Enterprise: Karla Beth Hux, SamanthaRichardson, Ann Marie Cole.

Franklin County: Desiree Buie, Kacey Smith,Heather Havard, Taylor Stewart.

Lawrence County: Kate Davis, Dee Dee Walker,Sage Mabile.

North Pike: Kaitlyn Perry, Kayla Stockton, KariBessonette.

Wesson: Ann Shelby Davis, Jessica Haynes,Dallas Jackson, Kimme Kolpeck.

West Lincoln: Julie Case, Alexis Cook, AshleyMcCaffery.