By Tim Chambers
The 2012 All Carter/Johnson County softball team returns after a three-year absence, with Elizabethton and Happy Valley dominating the squad. The team was selected by the sportswriting staff of the Elizabethton Star.
The Lady Cyclones finished runner-up to undefeated Unicoi County in league play. and were rewarded with five players grabbing a spot on this postseason squad. Happy Valley’s 19 wins earned them four players on the team.
Several players were considered for player-of-the-year honors, but after all the votes were tabulated, one player gathered the most votes.
Elizabethton’s Lindsey Cunningham gets the nod after compiling an impressive resume as a hitter and a pitcher. The junior standout batted a hefty .449 at the plate in addition to winning 18 games on the mound. She also contributed five home runs to the cause.
Cloudland’s Martina Presnell was a vital cog in some big wins for the Lady Highlanders. The freshman center field was rewarded by being voted as the Most Promising Underclassman.
She led the team with a .350 batting average and 26 runs. She also contributed 10 doubles and a vacuum with her speed in the outfield.
Just like on the boys’ side, the panel was unable to break the tie for coach-of-the-year honors. Cloudland’s Kenneth Chambers and Happy Valley’s Mike Dorsey will share this year’s prize.
The Lady Highlanders had big wins over Johnson County, Happy Valley, South Greene and Unaka despite missing nearly the first two weeks because of the basketball team’s appearance in the state tournament.
Dorsey has worked countless hours trying to mold the Lady Warriors into a respectable program. He pulled that off this year with a 19-win season. They also boast one of the nicest softball parks in Northeast Tennessee.
Happy Valley’s Brooke Simmons will head up the infield after hitting a torrid .491 on the year. She had 52 hits, 19 stolen bases and 27 RBIs. Simmons was also able to play multiple positions throughout the year when needed.
Her teammate Kiara Coffey was tabbed as the catcher. The state champion wrestler was just as impressive on the diamond, hitting .417 with six doubles and 22 RBIs.
Johnson County’s Ashley Arnold will join her to form the keystone corner at second base. Arnold batted an impressive .449, but it’s her .970 fielding average that’s makes her one of the top defensive players in Northeast Tennessee.
Two more Cyclones, Caley Hodge and Reazyn DeMoss, join them in the infield as well. The power hitting duo was pitched around the entire season, but still managed to put up some solid stats.
Hodge batted .394 with seven home runs and was one of the top RBI producers in the conference. DeMoss blasted 12 home runs and nine doubles while batting 351.
Happy Valley Allison Williams also earned an infield spot, as did Elizabethton’s Danielle Loving by tying for the fifth and final slot.
Williams produced an eye-popping nine triples, in addition to 10 doubles and a .378 batting average.
Loving ended the season hitting .415 with 12 doubles as the Cyclones’ leadoff batter.
The outfield is made up of a good variety of talent.
Hampton’s Danielle Guinn earns a spot by leading the Lady Bulldogs with a .400 batting average, which included 12 doubles and 27 RBIs.
Johnson County’s Eden Smith will join Guinn as the second outfielder. She ended the season with a .391 batting average and led the team in stolen bases.
The voters selected two players for the final outfield spot by virtue of another tie.
Elizabethton’s Sophie Bremer blasted 12 doubles and hit .382 to earn her spot. Cloudland’s Hope Baker produced a .347 clip and was one of the top defensive catchers in the Watauga Valley Conference. She’s a solid fielder as well and could end up playing at Mars Hill.
Unaka’s Kassie Winters will hold down the DP/Flex position. Winters was right at the .300 clip and scored 24 runs for the Lady Rangers.
Brittany Morefield and Hunter McKinney earn roster spots as pitchers.
Morefield was 10-5 on the year and batted .410 with 20 RBIs for Happy Valley. She missed a few games with an injury, but came back strong to close out the year.
Cloudland’s McKinney hit .320 and earned seven wins for the Lady Highlanders. McKinney walked only five batters in 116 innings pitched.
Rounding out the squad as the team’s closer is Hampton’s Molly Crabtree. She ended the season hitting .316. As a pitcher, she struck out 10 batters or more in eight games during the season.
Making the honorable mention team were Elizabethton’s Ashleigh Dykes and Casey Jones, Johnson County’s Cindi Edington and Hollie Harrison, Happy Valley’s Kaitlyn Campbell and Kaylee Street, Kendall Mull and Kelly King of Cloudland, Unaka’s Leslie Colbaugh and Madison Weaver, and Hampton’s Haley Sloan and Sadie Fletcher.