All-area: Raiders sweep postseason softball distinctions
Kiyanna Kearney may be the most versatile girls athlete in the area. Not only does she play basketball, softball and volleyball, she’s good at all three sports.
Following a close runner-up finish for all-area volleyball Player of the Year in the fall, Kearney is this spring’s all-area softball Player of the Year.
Kearney’s Raider teammate, Kaylan Hoyle, is the Pitcher of the Year and their coach, Leann Harrell, is Coach of the Year.
Kearney led Southern in batting average (.507), on-base percentage (.588) and tied for the lead in home runs (5). The strong-armed junior third baseman was third in RBI with 18.
Her teammate, Megan Hight, put up gaudy offensive numbers as well (.443, 28 RBI, 4 home runs) and is a reliable presence behind the plate. But Kearney has the edge on the area’s top softball honor because of her soaring on-base numbers as well her speed on the base paths.
Southern’s Hoyle, Brittany West and Mikayla Sellers join Kearney and Hight on the all-area first team.
Hoyle, a senior, is the Pitcher of the Year (14-6, 2.64 ERA, 123 strikeouts), but her offensive numbers are also impressive. She hit .427 with 24 RBI.
West left little doubt to who the best freshman in the area is. The shortstop hit .457, smacking 14 doubles to go along with five round-trippers. West, who will take over Hoyle’s pitching duties, seems likely to emerge as the area’s top player in one of the next two seasons.
Sellers rounds out the first-team Raiders. The outfielder finished the season with a .382 batting average.
Harrell guided Southern to a perfect record against J.F. Webb and Northern as the Raiders finished second in the 3-A Carolina Conference with an overall mark of 14-6.
Webb and Northern each have one player on the first team. The Warriors are represented by sophomore Ellen Blevins and the Vikings by Kara Reese.
Reese has been one of the area’s top players since she was a freshman, shining for both the Vikes and during the summer in rec league all-star games. The senior has spent most of her time on the right side of the infield and behind the plate and was thrust into pitching this season while leading an inexperienced team.
Reese hit .412 on the season with eight RBI and four home runs.
Warren County’s Brooke Sikes is yet another strong area catcher. The St. Andrews University recruit hit .404 this season. Her teammate, Courtney Macklin, led the Eagles with a .491 batting average and a .792 slugging percentage. Mikayla Hargrove, Warren County’s RBI leader, rounds out the first-team honorees.
Kassie Clary and Kelsie Clary of Warren County are each second-team selections along with Bree Simmons of Southern. Brooke Wheeler and Bre Lewis represent Webb on the second team while Rishana Cheek, Katie McAllister, Jesse Edwards, and Mel’leeah Robinson made the second-team cut from Northern.
Kiyanna Kearney (Southern), Kaylan Hoyle (Southern), Megan Hight (Southern), Brittany West (Southern), Ellen Blevins (Webb), Kara Reese (Northern), Brooke Sikes (Warren County), Courtney Macklin (Warren County), Mikayla Hargrove (Warren County)
Bree Simmons (Southern), Brooke Wheeler (Webb), Bre Lewis (Webb), Rishana Cheek (Northern), Katie McAllister (Northern), Jesse Edwards (Northern), Mel’leeah Robinson (Northern), Kassie Clary (Warren County), Kelsie Clary (Warren County)
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