• 52°

Hodges: Miss Softball

Terri Hodges has left an indelible impression on fastpitchsoftball. Either in the circle as a pitcher or at the plate,slapping hits to all fields, Hodges has made her presence felt onthe diamond during her senior season at Brookhaven.

Hodges directed the Lady Panthers to the Division 6-4Achampionship and a berth in the state playoffs. For herperformance, she has been selected the Most Valuable Player andMiss Softball on The DAILY LEADER’s 2008 All-Area FastpitchTeam.

Other players from area schools earned special honors on theDL’s Dream Team. Pitcher Brooke Delaughter of Loyd Star wasselected Defensive Player of the Year. Named Co-Offensive Playersof the Year were pitcher Kelli Howard of Bogue Chitto and catcherHolli Smith of West Lincoln.

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

The other dream team pitcher is Melissa McFarland of FranklinCounty. Other catchers are Katie Stewart of Brookhaven, MaggieDunaway of North Pike, Darcy Miller of Bogue Chitto and ShelbyFarmer of Brookhaven Academy.

The infield features Dee Dee Walker of Lawrence County, SabrinaDelaughter of Brookhaven, Kaitlyn Perry of North Pike, Josie Porterof Bogue Chitto and Hannah Lowman of Brookhaven.

Outfielders include Monea Cameron of Franklin County, JessicaHaynes of Wesson, Ashley Greer of Enterprise and Maggie Jackson ofMcComb Parklane Academy.

Smith and Calleye Douglas of Loyd Star are the designatedhitters. Kimberly Bridges of Copiah Academy and Sage Mabile ofLawrence County are the utility players.

An athletic 5-foot-3 sparkplug, Hodges has signed a scholarshipwith Copiah-Lincoln Community College. Her fastball has beenclocked at 60 miles per hour.

She helped lead the Lady Panthers to a 26-6 record. In thecircle, she was 23-6, accounting for 238 strikeouts and 36 bases onballs. She had a stingy 1.40 ERA.

Hodges earned a similar MVP honor on the DL’s All-Area SlowpitchTeam last December as a shortstop.

“Terri is the ultimate competitor,” said Brookhaven coach ChadWalker. “She has a team-first attitude. She has worked hard to bethe best that she can be.”

At the plate, Hodges led BHS with a .370 batting average.

Asked about her game, Hodges said, “I added a few more pitchesthis year.” Her arsenal includes a screwball, curveball, fastball,changeup and drop. She said former Co-Lin pitcher Caroline Burkshelped her improve last summer when she played for Southern Ice, atraveling team coached by Co-Lin players.

Hodges complimented her catcher, Katie Stewart. “She makes melook good. She frames everything for me. She knows what tocall.”

The two seniors have been playing softball together since theeighth grade.

Brooke Delaughter, a sophomore, recorded 204strikeouts in 170 innings this season as the Lady Hornets (15-14)finished second in Division 6-2A and advanced to the stateplayoffs. The 5-foot-5 right-hander said she relies on her fastballto strike out opponents.

“I throw an inside fastball 80 percent of the time,” saidDelaughter. “That’s a hard pitch to hit on the handle of thebat.

“I work my zones inside and out and I also throw a changeup.”She relies on her dropball when an opponent appears to bebunting.

“Brooke has worked extremely hard to become a better pitcher,”said her mother, Jan Delaughter, who coaches the Lady Hornets.

At the plate, Delaughter batted .274. As a pitcher, she posted a1.71 ERA, walking 73 batters and allowing 120 hits in 170innings.

Kelli Howard, a 5-10 junior right-hander,sparkled at the plate, collecting 29 RBIs and batting .415. She hit3 home runs.

“Kelli got a lot stronger as a pitcher and a hitter thisseason,” said Bogue Chitto Chitto coach Scott Leggett. His Lady’Cats were South State 1A runners-up to East Webster, the eventualstate champion.

Howard uses a 33-inch, 23-ounce Easton Stealth bat.

“I look for my pitch and hit the center of the ball,” saidHoward. “My job is to put the ball in play.”

On the mound, Howard fashioned an 18-9 record. She struck out117 batters in 168 innings, walking 62. She had a 1.57 ERA.

Holli Smith, a 5-foot-6 senior, directed theLady Bears with a .571 batting average. She had 13 RBIs and 2homers, plus 9 doubles and 4 triples as Coach Andrew Redd’s teamfinished 9-8.

“I want to get on base and start a rally,” said Smith who wasWL’s leadoff batter. “You have to get up there and relax and don’tworry about pressure.”

Smith, a Co-Lin scholarship signee, will play in the MississippiAssociation of Coaches Fastpitch Softball All-Star Game June 21, atNewton County.

“Holli has been a clutch hitter for us,” said Redd.

Melissa McFarland, a Franklin County senior,has signed a scholarship with Co-Lin. She posted 10-6 pitchingrecord, striking out 125 batters.

At the plate, she batted .400 with 16 RBIs for Coach DanaSmith’s Lady Bulldogs.

Shelby Farmer, a junior, batted .375 for CoachRicky Allen’s Brookhaven Academy Lady Cougars.

Katie Stewart, a senior recognized for herdefensive skills behind the plate, batted .202 for the LadyPanthers.

Maggie Dunaway, a North Pike senior, batted.388 for Coach Sonya Wallace’s Lady Jaguars who won the Division7-3A championship. She had a team-high 26 RBIs and hit 4 homers.She has signed with Southwest Mississippi Community College.

Dee Dee Walker, a Lawrence County senior,batted .278 for Coach Beronica Stringfellow’s Lady Cougars. She hassigned with Co-Lin.

Sabrina Delaughter, a Brookhaven junior, batted325.

Kaitlyn Perry, a North Pike senior, has signedwith Southwest. She batted .385, driving in 10 runs.

Josie Porter, a freshman, batted .402 for BogueChitto and starred at shortstop. She had 19 RBIs and 2 homers. Shestole 20 bases.

Hannah Lowman, a junior, batted .266 forBrookhaven and starred at shortstop.

Monea Cameron, a Co-Lin signee, batted .395 forFranklin County.

Jessica Haynes, a junior, batted .450 forWesson’s Lady Cobras who are coached by Tiffani Coquat.

Ashley Greer, a sophomore, batted .333 forCoach Steve Sasser’s Enterprise Lady Yellow Jackets.

Maggie Jackson, a senior, batted .479 for CoachDwight Stockton’s Parklane Lady Pioneers. She hit 3 homers andcollected 12 doubles and 5 triples. She was chosen MVP in the MPSAAll-Star Game and has signed with Southwest.

Calleye Douglas, a junior, led Loyd Star with a.404 batting average. She had 11 RBIs.

Kimberly Bridges, a senior, played shortstopand pitcher for Coach Terry Bauer’s Lady Colonels who posted a23-19 record. Bridges batted .341, had 11 RBIs and 11 stolesbases.

In the circle, Bridges posted an 11-8 record with a 2.49 ERA.She fanned 62 batters in 121 innings and walked 25. She pitched 4shutouts.

Sadie Mabile, a senior, batted .326 for theLCHS Lady Cougars who were runners-up in the Division 6-4Arace.