By Chris McCarthy
Unlike the past few years, there wasn’t much doubt as to which player meant the most to her team in local high school softball for the 2017 season.
Coosa Christian’s Alaina Hampton bashed, belted and blasted her way to Player of the Year honors for The Messenger’s All-Area softball team
The senior catcher batted .639 this past season while producing 39 hits, 40 runs, 37 RBI, and eight home runs. She walked 28 times and did not have a strikeout. In a game against Ashville in March, Hampton tied an Alabama High School Athletic Association record for number of doubles in a single game with four doubles. Her five hits in that same game tied her with the second-most hits in a single game. She signed a softball scholarship in December with UAH.
“Alaina is an excellent ball player and puts in so much work, both on the field and in the classroom,” said Coosa Christian head softball coach Amy Shaw. “You couldn’t ask more out of her. I’m proud of her for her accomplishments. She caught just about every game for us and was great defensively. Offensively, her numbers show her speed and power, and she’s done a tremendous job in clutch situations. Needless to say, she’s brought a lot to our program.”
Joining Hampton on the All-Messenger first team are Etowah senior Katie Parrish at pitcher; West End 8th grader Lexus Collins at first base; Southside junior Emilee Coker at second base, Coosa Christian sophomore Ca-rol Garmany at shortstop, Southside senior Becca Feazell at third base; Southside senior Caroline Pope, Glencoe junior Skylar Thompson and Etowah junior Melissa Love in the outfield; and Southside sophomore Lauren Hunt at designated hitter.
In 187 innings on the mound for the Lady Blue Devils, Parrish went 23-12 with a 2.17 earned run average, 217 strikeouts and eight shutouts.
Collins was one of the Lady Patriots’ top sluggers with 41 hits, 35 RBI, 23 runs and a 4.61 batting average.
Coker finished with 57 hits, 42 runs, 21 RBI, and 49 steals while batting .410 for the Lady Panthers.
In 64 at-bats, Garmany batted .531 while producing 34 hits and 33 runs. She also knew her way around the basepaths with 37 steals.
Feazell held her own at the hot corner with 46 hits, 42 RBI, 30 runs and a .368 batting average.
Pope hit .418 with 51 hits, 27 runs, and 25 steals.
Thompson paced the Lady Yellow Jackets with a 464 batting average, 51 RBI and six home runs.
Love finished with 50 hits, 32 runs, 29 RBI and 12 doubles while batting .410.
In the designated hitter spot, Southside sophomore Lauren Hunt collected 65 hits, 34 runs, 23 RBI and 30 steals with a 4.74 batting average.
The All-Messenger second team features Southside High senior pitcher Savanna Yancey (126 innings, 19-11 record, 98 strikeouts, 3.05 earned run average); Etowah senior catcher Emma Jones (.440 batting average, 51 hits, 37 runs, 37 RBI, 19 doubles, seven home runs); Southside senior first baseman Mallary Smith; Coosa Christian senior second baseman Claire Stephens (.431 batting average, 31 hits, 27 RBI, 18 runs); West End senior third baseman Amber Crosby (.413 batting average, 33 hits, 25 RBI, 22 runs); West End junior outfielder Tamia Timmons (.409 batting average, 38 hits, 29 runs); Etowah junior outfielder Bree Vasser (.359 batting average, 47 hits, 41 runs, 32 RBI, eight home runs) and Gaston outfielder Haley Morgan (.280 batting average).