Delaughter rises to the top

Published 7:14 pm Thursday, June 3, 2010

By Loyd Star’s 2009 state championship standards, 2010 was adisappointing year. The Lady Hornets failed in their attempt tosuccessfully defend their Class 2A state fastpitch softball titlebut they battled to the end, losing to Stringer in the Southplayoffs.

Loyd Star pitcher Brooke Delaughter made the most of a bigrebuilding year and posted an 18-9 worksheet. The DAILY LEADER’s2009 Player of the Year compiled a 1.14 ERA, recording sevenshutouts. She struck out 208 batters 154 innings and walked34.

For her performance, Delaughter has been selected Most ValuablePlayer and Miss Fastpitch on the DL’s 2010 All-Area Dream Team. Atthe plate, she batted .333, collecting 22 RBIs.

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By comparison, Bogue Chitto’s Cinderella season ended on a highnote as the Lady Cats captured the Class 1A state championship lastweekend. They defeated Smithville two straight games after losingthe opener 10-0.

Bogue Chitto catcher Darcy Miller and shortstop Josie Portersparkled this season and added two more jewels to their crown.Miller was picked Most Valuable Defensive Player and Porter earnedMVP honors for her offensive skills.

The Dream Team was selected by members of the DL’s sportsdepartment, with input provided by area high school and collegecoaches.

Joining Delaughter inside the circle are pitchers Rheagan Welch ofBogue Chitto, Kelsey Lord of North Pike and Destiney Dedeaux ofFranklin County.

With Miller behind the plate are catchers Shelby Mitchell ofLawrence County, Karla Beth Hux of Enterprise and Marissa Pruski ofWest Lincoln.

With Porter in the infield are Christina Fink of Wesson, AlliHarris of Lawrence County, Kacey Smith of Franklin County and BradiDavis of Bogue Chitto.

Outfielders include Annie Artiques of McComb, Morgan Knapp ofFranklin County, Bethany Wall of Parklane Academy and BriannaBrister of North Pike.

Designated hitters are Sarah Ayers of Brookhaven, Kearra Collins ofFranklin County, Kolbi Lewis of Enterprise and Carrie Moak of LoydStar.

Utility players are Emily Smith of Loyd Star, Desiree Buie ofFranklin County and Terah Winborne of Brookhaven Academy.

All-purpose players are Taylor Nelson of Enterprise and MeganJohnson of Copiah Academy.

In 2010, the pitching circle was moved back three feet to 43 feet.Like other pitchers, Delaughter had to make a majoradjustment.

“Backing up three feet took a lot of speed off my pitch,” said the5-foot-6 Delaughter. “But it helped get me ready forcollege.”

Delaughter and teammates Moak and Smith have all signedscholarships with Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

“I added a dropball this year and I used my changeup a lot,”Delaughter pointed out. “My favorite pitch is my riseball. It jumpsabout two inches.”

Asked about her favorite college softball team, Delaughter said sheliked Alabama best. “I’m going to the World Series in OklahomaCity. That’s one of my graduation gifts.”

Her mother, Jan Delaughter, is Loyd Star’s softball coach. She usesa video produced by the Alabama coaching staff as a trainingaide.

Brooke said North Pike was her toughest opponent. “They really hitthe ball hard. We finally beat them 14-0,” later in theseason.

Wesson coach Jackie Johnson said Delaughter was a key to LoydStar’s success in a rebuilding campaign. “Brooke could win gameswith her pitching and her hitting. She was tough to beat.”

Josie Porter’s defensive skills at shortstop were exceptional andshe became a dangerous batter, too. Her 57 RBIs rank her third inMississippi and 15th in the nation. She posted a .447 battingaverage.

“Our leadoff batters really did a good job getting on base,” saidthe 5-7 Porter. “I usually swing at the first pitch because thepitcher usually throws their best pitch.”

Her favorite college team is Florida. In the classroom, she likesscience/lab, math and history.

Porter and her teammates erased the memory of the shutout loss toSmithville and defeated the Lady Seminoles 1-0 and 6-2 lastSaturday. “It felt great to come back and beat them.”

Bogue Chitto coach Scott Leggett said Porter has improved at theplate. “Josie is an aggressive hitter but I could see she had morepatience this year. She has become a great hitter because she haslearned to use both sides of the field.”

Darcy Miller, a 5-7 catcher, calls nearly every pitch. “I likebeing in charge a lot. And I like calling the pitches.”

Coach Leggett said Miller threw out 12 of the 13 runners attemptingto steal base this season. “Darcy developed a reputation across thestate. Last year she threw out 20.”

Miller, an MVP guard in basketball, said she enjoys watching theLonghorns of Texas play softball. “I watch the regionals onTV.”

In school, she enjoys history class and athletics. Miller andPorter both play for a tournament team known as Southern Ice duringthe summer months.

“Darcy is tough mentally and physically,” said Leggett. “Shemanages a game real well.”

Miller batted .455 and had 30 RBIs.

Rheagan Welch, a Bogue Chitto freshman, won both of last Saturday’sstate playoff games against Smithville. She posted an 11-4 recordand a 2.30 ERA.

Kelsey Lord, a senior, helped pitch North Pike to the Class 4Astate championship finals. She had a 10-5 record and a 1.70 ERA forCoach Sonya Wallace’s Lady Jaguars. She batted .327.

Destiney Dedeaux, a junior, fashioned a 14-6 record for FranklinCounty, helping Coach Dana Smith’s Lady Bulldogs to the Class 3Astate playoffs. She had 71 strikeouts and 41 bases on balls in 109innings. She had a 1.66 ERA.

Shelby Mitchell, a junior, batted .492 for the Lawrence County LadyCougars who are coached by Courtney Shivers.

Karla Beth Hux, a junior, batted .488 for Coach Steve Sasser’s LadyYellow Jackets as they marched to the Class 2A stateplayoffs.

Marissa Pruski, a junior, batted .395 for Coach Andrew Redd’s LadyBears.

Christina Fink, a senior, batted .528 for Coach Johnson’s LadyCobras.

Alli Harris, a junior, batted .424 for Lawrence County.

Kacey Smith, a senior, batted .377 for Franklin County. She hassigned with Co-Lin.

Bradi Davis, a junior, batted .443 for the Lady Cats, driving in 16runs as a leadoff batter.

Annie Artigues, a junior, batted .468 for Coach Kristi Bird’sMcComb Lady Tigers who claimed the Region 5-5A championship.

Bethany Wall, a senior, batted .386 for Coach Dwight Stockton’sLady Pioneers.

Morgan Knapp, a senior, was praised for her defensive skills in theoutfield. At the plate, she batted .407 and collected 22 RBIs forFranklin County.

Brianna Brister, a sophomore, batted .312 for North Pike.

Sarah Ayers, a junior, batted .387 for Coach Chad Walker’s LadyPanthers.

Kearra Collins, a junior, batted .507 for Franklin County.

Desiree Buie, a senior, batted .400 for Franklin County.

Kolbi Lewis, a senior, batted .415 for Enterprise. She has signed ascholarship with Southwest Mississippi Community College.

Carrie Moak, a senior, batted .368 for Loyd Star and hit three homeruns. She has signed with Co-Lin.

Terah Winborne, a sophomore, batted .441 for Coach Ricky Allen’sLady Cougars.

Emily Smith, a senior, batted .306 for Loyd Star. She has signedwith Co-Lin.

Taylor Nelson, a freshman, posted a 10-6 record and batted .357 forEnterprise.

Megan Johnson, a sophomore, compiled an 18-10 record and a 1.67 ERAfor Coach Terri Bauer’s Copiah Academy Lady Colonels.


Bogue Chitto – Toy Smith, Adrienne Wallace, Mattie Avants.

Brookhaven – Stevie Wright, Erica Bridwell, Madeline DeLaughter,Christine Benson.

Brookhaven Academy – Meredith Allen, Laura Beth Wright.

Copiah Academy – Kacie Berry, Elizabeth Cliburn, MorganBrown.

Enterprise – Chynna Coghlan, Ashley Greer, Sarah Burke, KaitlynMoak.

Franklin County – Katie Forman, Latoya Griffin, AllisonHauer.

Lawrence County – Daphne Armstrong, Emily Turnage, KaylaByrd.

Loyd Star – Leah Britt, Sarah Falvey.

McComb – Desiree Mallery, Megan Coney, Danielle Farum, CaseyBrumfield.

North Pike – Summer Brown, Rachel Kelly, Savannah Johnston,Charneissa Gordon.

Wesson — Marley McCardle, Makenzie Rials, Macie McQuage, ShauntayWalker.

West Lincoln – Hannah Knouse, Micah Redd, Rebecca Reeves, KatieMullins.