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BHS softball team honored

Brookhaven senior pitcher Brooke Hosick was named Most Valuable Player Tuesday night during the team’s Fastpitch Softball Awards Banquet. Hosick also received the Scholastic Award and All-District recognition.

     Ole Brook softball coach Chad Walker welcomed the crowd to the banquet, which was held at the Brookhaven Parks & Recreation Department  headquarters located on Highway 51 North. David Culpepper, public address announcer for the Lady Panthers’ home games, delivered the invocation and blessing for the meal.

      “We had a successful season and this team surpassed my expectations,” said Walker. “You can’t say a lot about what we as coaches did. It’s what the girls did. They became more confident and they believed in themselves.”

     Walker’s team was runner-up in the Region 4-5A race and advanced to the state playoffs. The Lady Panthers defeated Center Hill in the first round and fell to Saltillo in the next round. They posted a 14-9 worksheet.

     “We scored 199 runs and that was No. 16 in the state,” said Walker. His team had a .261 batting average and stole 102 bases. For the first time, they went 7-0 against Lincoln County opponents.

     “Our team had swagger when they showed up,” said Walker. “When they walked on the field, you could see confidence in their eyes.”

     Walker said winning the district/region title next year would be a priority. “We let it slip through our fingers this time. The future looks bright and we can build on this.”

     Prior to presenting the awards, Walker thanked his two assistant coaches, Megan Case and Mandy Vinson, the booster club, parents and friends of the program for their support. “You helped make our team successful.”

     Shelby Peavey was recognized as the team’s Best Offensive Player. Catcher Christen Benson was named Best Defensive Player. Taylor Murray received the Panther Award, Katie Grace Culpepper the Most Improved Award, Katherine Shell the Hustle Award and Ivy Smith, Rookie of the Year.

     Hosick was joined on the All-District team by Benson, Peavey and Shell.

     Walker praised his two senior team members, Hosick and Erica Bridwell, for their years with the team., “You both are excellent students, too. You both will be missed.”

     Hosick posted a 3.86 GPA.

     Bridwell, a shortstop, who signed a scholarship with Copiah-Lincoln Community College in January, sustained a season-ending ankle injury early in the campaign.

     Emily Freeman was given a BHS blanket by Walker. She and her family are moving to Petal.

      Booster Club officers are Eric Hosick, president; Cody Bridwell, vice president; and Lucy Shell, treasurer.