Johnson leads All-Area softball team

Published 8:00 pm Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Lady Colonels of Copiah Academy put together an amazing season and won the 2011 MAIS State AAA championship. They swept the Madison-Ridgeland Academy Lady Patriots in two games to bring home the gold.

     Senior pitcher Meghan Johnson played a huge role, both offensively and defensively, to help her teammates as Copiah Academy finished their magical season last fall.

     For her performance, Johnson has been selected the Most Valuable Player on The DAILY LEADER’s 2012 All-Area Fastpitch Softball Team.

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     Two more special DAILY LEADER awards went to senior shortstop Kierra Collins of Franklin County, who was selected Offensive Player of the Year for the second year in a row; and junior catcher Adrienne Wallace of Bogue Chitto, who was named Defensive Player of the Year.

     Joining Johnson on the All-Area Dream Team pitcher rotation: Lauren Wells of North Pike, Hannah Moak of Enterprise, Makenzie Rials of Wesson and Rheagan Welch of Bogue Chitto.

     Joining Wallace at catcher are Natalie Keene of Brookhaven Academy, Kacie Berry of Copiah Academy and Macie McQuage of Wesson.

     The Dream Team’s infielders are Maggie Paulk of Parklane Academy, Savannah Johnston of North Pike, Taylor Nelson of Enterprise, Shelby Peavey of Brookhaven, Kristen Dillon of Salem and Hannah Smith of Loyd Star.

     The Dream Team’s flex players are Briana Bass of Parklane Academy, Emily Turnage of Lawrence County, Katherine Shell of Brookhaven, Kamry Creel of McComb, and Mary Margaret McLaurin of Lawrence County.

     Collins is the leader in designated players selection, along with Marisa Pruski and Micah Redd of West Lincoln, Sarah Robinson of Wesson, and Kayla Puder of Salem.

     The Dream Team outfielders are Terah Winborne of Brookhaven Academy, Latorya Griffin of Franklin County, Morgan Brown of Copiah Academy, Mattie Avants of Bogue Chitto, and Layton Terrell of McComb.

     Copiah Academy coach Terry Bauer said Johnson is an exceptional athlete, both offense and defense. “Meghan Johnson is a team leader who takes all of our players under her wing. She’s a joy to be around.

     “Johnson has good location and she changes speeds very well” continued Bauer. “She’s not one who will blow it by you.”

     She has a variety of pitches. Johnson throws a curveball, palm ball, screwball, drop ball and fastball. At the plate, Johnson swings a big bat, too.

     Bauer stated that Johnson is a very good hitter to the opposite field. She is also the valedictorian of her class.

      Meghan Johnson, 5-4 senior right hander, is a tactical pitcher in the circle and a tough out at the plate.

     Johnson assisted the Lady Colonels at the plate with .374 batting average, while collecting 35 RBIs. In the circle, she compiled a 19-4 record.

     Johnson shared her thoughts of Copiah Academy’s state title season. “This season was the best senior season I could have asked for. We played together as a team and worked through our problems. We finished 39-6 and achieved our goal of winning a state championship.”

     Johnson has signed an athletic scholarship to play softball for the Co-Lin Lady Wolves. She plans to pursue a career in pediatrics, because she likes working with children.

      Kierra Collins, a 5-5 senior right-hander, uses a 32-inch Easton Synergy bat and swings left-handed. She is a force to be dealt with. Collins was a fixture at the shortstop position for Franklin County, batting .549 and collecting 27 RBIs.

     How did Collins become such a good offensive player?

     “I focus on what I had to do and did it. I step in the batters box determined that I’m going to hit the ball and hit it hard,” said Collins.

     Collins has signed an athletic scholarship to play basketball for the Co-Lin Lady Wolves. She plans to pursue a career in physical therapy.

     Franklin County coach Dana Smith said “KeKe Collins is a natural athlete. She plays anything really well and has a bright future ahead of her.

     “At the plate, Keke was deadly,” continued Smith. “She hits with power, but at the same time she can lay down a bunt and use her speed to get on. She was a tough out for opposing teams.”

      Adrienne Wallace, a 5-5 junior right-hander, sparkled behind the plate for Bogue Chitto. Wallace’s .989 fielding percentage was the defensive anchor for the Lady Cats.

     How did Wallace developed into such a good catcher?

     “It took a lot of hard work and practice. All the practices with my team have helped me improve as a player.”

     Wallace is excited to return next year and help the Lady Cats return to the promised land for another state championship trophy.

     Bogue Chitto coach Scott Leggett said, “Adrienne has been an important part of our team for the past five years. She has played in numerous spots throughout her career and is a great defensive player. I am glad that we will have her back next season.”

      Lauren Wells, a sophomore, compiled a 13-6 record for North Pike. At the plate, she batted .377.

      Hannah Moak, a sophomore, provided the Lady Jackets with an 8-5 worksheet. At the plate, she had a .400 batting average.

      Makenzie Rials, a senior, compiled a 16-7 record for the Wesson Lady Cobras.

      Rheagan Welch, a junior, earned a 14-6 record for Bogue Chitto.

      Natalie Keene, a junior, had a .377 batting average for the Brookhaven Academy Lady Cougars.

      Macie McQuage, a junior, batted .446 for Coach Jackie Johnson’s Wesson Lady Cobras.

      Kacie Berry, a senior, had a .362 average at the plate for Copiah Academy

      Maggie Paulk, a senior, provided great leadership and helped the Lady Pioneers of Parklane. She finished the season with an .362 batting average.

      Savannah Johnston, a junior, is a talented athlete for the Lady Jaguars. She batted an .484 at the plate.

      Taylor Nelson, a junior, orchestrated an .320 average for the Lady Jackets of Enterprise.

      Shelby Peavey, a junior, posted a .400 batting average for the Brookhaven Lady Panthers.

      Kristen Dillon, a junior, batted .492 for Salem.

      Hannah Smith, a junior, batted .300 for the Loyd Star Lady Hornets.

      Briana Bass, a junior, brings a lot of talent to the Lady Colonels. She batted a .375 on the season.

      Emily Turnage, a junior, posted a .328 average for Lawrence County.

      Katherine Shell, an eighth grader, played multiple positions for the Lady Panthers. She posted a .318 batting average for Brookhaven.

      Kamry Creel, a junior, had a .297 batting average for McComb.

      Mary Margaret McLaurin, a senior, batted a .364 for Lawrence County.

      Marisa Pruski, a senior, batted .448 for West Lincoln’s Lady Bears.

      Micah Redd, a freshman, pitched for the Lady Bears. She averaged .373 at the plate.

      Sarah Robinson, a sophomore, posted a .387 batting average for Wesson.

      Kayla Puder, a senior, Salem’s top hurler, batted .446.

      Terah Winborne, a senior, showcased her talents for Brookhaven Academy. She posted .561 average.

      Latorya Griffin, a junior, was a power hitter for the Franklin County Lady Bulldogs. She had a .400 batting average.

      Morgan Brown, a senior, batted .407 for the Lady Colonels.

      Mattie Avants, a sophomore, a versatile force for Bogue Chitto, posted a .422 average at the plate.

      Layton Terrell, a sophomore, showed great potential for the McComb Lady Tigers. She batted a .344.