Glencoe slugger highlights All-Messenger softball team

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Photo: Glencoe High junior Abi Bunt dives to tag out a runner at first base as pitcher Emma Hyfield looks during the past season. Bunt was selected as the 2023 All-Messenger softball team Player of the Year. (Courtesy of Alex Chaney) 

By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor

Abi did not have to Bunt her way on base very often this past softball season.
In 42 games, the junior slugger from Glencoe finished with a .490 batting average, a .534 on-base percentage and a 1.077 slugging percentage while belting 51 hits (including 13 home runs, 16 doubles and three triples), 58 runs scored and 44 RBI while striking out only twice. She was also a pest on the basepaths with 18 steals out of 21 attempts.
For that standout production, Abi Bunt is the 2023 All-Messenger softball team’s Player of the Year.
“Abi is obviously a really talented softball player,” said Glencoe head softball coach Taylor Talbot. “But my favorite thing about coaching her is she is a high character kid; that is, a low maintenance player who doesn’t need motivated to work hard, and that’s a rarity in coaching today.
“Abi is a quiet kid to an extent, but her work ethic and competitiveness really set her apart. I’ve been very fortunate to coach a lot of players who worked very hard or hated to lose, but Abi is without a doubt the most competitive kid I’ve coached. Whatever the drill is and whatever the game is, she is going to work until she masters it.
“That work ethic, I believe has made a huge difference in so many of our players. They see the way Abi works and have joined in her efforts, which has had a huge effect on our program. Little girls growing up in Glencoe want to be a softball player, and a whole lot of them want to be Abi Bunt and wear No. 1 on their back. For the young girls in our town, the world stops when Abi spends time with them, and that’s a great testament to the kind of young lady and player that Abi is. It’s a special thing.”
Bunt was also named to the Alabama Sports Writers Association Class 3A All-State first team at the utility position earlier this week.
Coach of the Year honors go to Taylor Talbot. In his first season as head coach, he guided the Lady Yellow Jackets to 24 wins and one game shy of a berth in the Class 3A state tournament. Piedmont edged Glencoe, 2-0, the East Regional play-back bracket finals.

All-Messenger Softball first team infield
* Catcher: Abi Bunt, junior, Glencoe
* First base: Hailey Hanners, senior, Glencoe: 44 games, 408 batting average, .476 on-base percentage, .792 slugging percentage, 51 hits with 16 doubles and 10 home runs, 61 RBI, 35 runs, nine steals
* Second base: Aubrey Maxwell, junior, Glencoe: 44 games, .449 batting average, .471 on-base percentage, .606 slugging percentage, 51 hits with nine doubles and three home runs, 39 RBI, 26 runs scored
* Shortstop: Abby Payne, junior, Hokes Bluff: 48 games, .482 batting average, .644 on-base percentage, .884 slugging percentage, 54 hits with 15 doubles, six triples and six home runs, 58 RBI, 54 runs scored,
* Third base: Josie Bunch, junior, West End: 34 games, .396 batting average, .487 on-base percentage, 38 hits with eight doubles and seven home runs, 33 RBI, 28 runs scored,
* Designated hitter: Maddie Griffith, senior, Southside: 46 games, .428 batting average, .467 on-base percentage, 59 hits, 28 RBI, 26 runs scored, 22 steals,
* Utility: Cayse Willett, junior, Glencoe: 43 games, .432 batting average, .527 on-base percentage; .686 slugging percentage, 51 hits with 14 doubles and four home runs, 40 RBI, 37 runs scored
All-Messenger Softball first team outfield
* Peyton Burrell, junior, Southside: 44 games, .404 batting average, .481 on-base percentage,
57 hits, 43 runs scored, 21 RBI, 34-for-40 in steals
* Emma Croy, junior, Glencoe: 42 games, .491 batting average; .591 on-base percentage, .728 slugging percentage, 51 hits with 11 doubles, five triples and two home runs, 52 runs scored, 41 RBI, 31 steals
* Kayla Traylor, senior, Hokes Bluff: 48 games, .398 batting average, .552 on-base percentage, .833 slugging percentage, 51 hits with 24 doubles, 10 triples and six home runs, 25-of-30 in steal attempts
* Jaleigh Devine, senior, Etowah: 44 games, .377 batting average, .397 on-base percentage, .646 slugging percentage, 49 hits with 19 doubles and four home runs, 24-of-25 in stolen bases
All-Messenger pitching staff
* Sydney Simpson, senior, Etowah: 115 innings, 12-8 record, 237 strikeouts, five shutouts, four no-hitters, 3.71 ERA, 1.25 WHIP
* Kayden Tarvin, senior, Sardis: 105 innings, 13-4-3 record, 145 strikeouts, five shutouts, one no-hitter, 3.39 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, .178 OBA
* Peyton Hall, seventh grade, West End: 67 innings, 8-1-1 record, 59 strikeouts, four shutouts, one no-hitter, 1.99 ERA, 0.88 WHIP
* Summer Crump, junior, Glencoe: 127 innings, 16-6 record 62 strikeouts, 3.35 ERA, .272 OBA
* Lexi Darnell, senior, Southside: 149 innings, 89 earned runs, 88 strikeouts, 4.2 ERA, 1.443 WHIP
All-Messenger Softball second team infield
* Catcher: Laura Wood, senior, Etowah: 49 games, .350 batting average, .380 on-base percentage, .477 slugging percentage, 0.951 fielding percentage, 50 hits with 13 doubles, three triples and six home runs
* First base: Jayda Lacks, senior, Sardis: 41 games, .353 batting average, .409 on-base percentage, .655 slugging percentage, 41 hits with 10 doubles and seven home runs
* Second base: Val Owens, senior, Sardis: .294 batting average, .442 on-base percentage, 30 hits with 10 doubles and four home runs, 19 RBI, 11 runs, reached base safely in final 22 games of season
* Shortstop: Braylee King, freshman, West End: 33 games, .330 batting average, .406 on-base percentage 29 hits, 33 runs scored, 15 RBI; Makenzie McCarver, senior, Gaston: 446 batting average, 25 hits, 30 runs scored, 27 steals
* Third base: Annalyn Williamson, freshman, Ashville: 38 games, .294 batting average, .402 on-base percentage, .511 slugging percentage, 26 hits with 13 doubles and three home runs, 21 RBI, 18 runs scored; Brooklyn Whitten, sophomore, Gaston: .420 batting average, 21 hits, 17 RBI
* Designated hitter Ava Ramsey, junior, Southside: 45 games, .370 batting average, .470 on-base percentage, 40 hits with nine doubles and six home runs, 9-for-9 in steals
* Utility: Emma Samples, senior, Gaston: .492 batting average, 29 hits, 26 RBI, 22 steals
All-Messenger Softball second team outfield
* Meleah Crane, sophomore, Gaston: .452 batting average, .617 on-base percentage
* Jada Odom, senior, Gadsden City: .378 batting average. .500 on-base percentage
* Daleigha Wheeler, eighth grade, West End: 26 games, 23 hits, 17 RBI, 12 runs scored, .338 batting average, .366 on-base percentage
Editor’s note: Selections for the All-Messenger softball team were based on statistics provided by area head softball coaches. Not all schools submitted statistics for the 2023 season.

 

 

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