The Boyle County softball team put together its best season ever this spring, which will continue Thursday in the state tournament.
And area coaches recognized the Rebels’ success, placing five players on The Advocate-Messenger 2012 All-Area Softball Team.
Boyle’s Hannah Miniard is on the team for a fourth straight season, while Mercer’s Tabby Shewmaker is making her fourth appearance on the team. They are joined by fellow returnees KK Davis and Amy Woolum of Boyle, Kasey Young of Danville, Mercer’s Megan Hilbert and Lincoln County’s Kellie Conley.
It’s the second-straight season Boyle has had five All-Area picks, but the rest of the picks were split evenly. 12th Region runner-up Mercer County had three selections, as did Danville and Lincoln County.
Mercer coach Stephen Lyons, who led Mercer to its best season ever at 30-8 and won the school’s first district title, was named the Advocate’s Area Softball Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.
Here’s a look at this year’s team:
The Mercer senior pitcher went 29-5 and entered the 12th Region Tournament with 321 strikeouts and a 0.79 earned-run average. This is Shewmaker’s third All-Area selection.
“It’s hard to express everything I feel about Tabby, other than she is a coach’s dream,”Lyons said. “She works hard, she produces on the field, and she is a great person. She’s carried us all year long. She’s definitely a candidate for first-team all-state and, I believe, for Miss Softball.”
The Bellarmine signee also hit .505 with two home runs, 42 RBIs and 16 doubles. She was named the 12th Region Player of the Year by the region’s coaches, and has been named to the East squad for the East-West All-Star Game being played June 16 in Louisville.
Davis made the team for the second straight season and has gone 10-7 with a 1.94 ERA and two saves going into the state tournament.
“KK Davis is an unselfish senior who has committed herself to the improvement of Boyle County softball,” Boyle coach Brian Deem said. “It was that unselfish attitude to help propel us to Owensboro.”
Davis, who will play college softball at Carson-Newman, has thrown a team-high 94 innings and has 102 strikeouts with 28 walks. At the plate, she is hitting .241 with 26 RBIs and two doubles.
Making her second straight appearance at first base, Conley hit .378 with 22 RBIs and led Lincoln with a .459 on-base percentage and a .635 slugging percentage. Her four home runs were tied for the team lead.
“Kellie is a great defensive first baseman and really anchored the middle of our lineup offensively. She became a much more patient hitter this season with 17 walks and only 12 strikeouts in 96 plate appearances,” Lincoln coach Kevin Bandura said. “It was a big loss for us when she broke and dislocated her ankle late in the season and we certainly missed her in our lineup during the last few games and the district tournament. She’s a great leader and will be tough to replace next year.”
The Lincoln sophomore second baseman led Lincoln in hitting (.393), runs (35) and hits (44) and reached on errors a team-high 11 times. She also had six doubles, two triples and a home run.
“Morgan was an extremely effective leadoff hitter for us this season and developed into a dangerous hitter because she can slap as well as drive the ball deep,” Bandura said. “She is a smart and fast base-runner who put a lot of pressure on the opponent’s defense by running the bases well.
“She only had 14 strikeouts in 129 plate appearances and was able to work a lot of deep counts, especially to lead off the game.”
The Danville junior shortstop made the team for the second straight season and had a monster season. She hit .508 with 61 hits, nine doubles, two triple, nine home runs, 35 RBIs and scored 42 runs. She reached base 79 times and had a .617 on-base percentage.
“Kasey is an outstanding defensive player with a strong arm and great range. Kasey is an exceptional athlete and is excelling in multiple sports (basketball and softball),” Danville coach Jerry Perry. “Kasey was also selected to the All ‘A’ state tourney team.”
Young, who has committed to Eastern Kentucky to play basketball, has been selected to East-West Junior All-Star Team.
The Mercer junior third baseman earned a second-straight nod on the All-Area team after hitting .394 with 10 doubles, three home runs and 21 RBIs, while posting a .457 on-base percentage.
“Megan, this year, when she’s been on top of her game, she’s a little fireball,” Lyons said. “She’s as fast as greased lightning with her feet and she has an arm like a cannon and she can hit the ball.
“We go as she goes. She has a high on-base percentage and played well from the mid-season on. She had turf toe early in the year and was slow recovering. But Megan has been a vital part of what we’ve done this year.”
Mary Beth Hogue
Lincoln’s senior catcher led the team with 10 doubles, hit .384 and drove in 16 runs. She drew 12 walks and only struck out seven times in 111 plate appearances. She also an a .450 on-base percentage and .525 slugging percentage.
“Mary Beth is an outstanding defensive catcher who calls the vast majority of the pitches. She’s able to slow down the other team’s running game because she has a quick release and is not afraid to throw behind runners and steal outs from the other team,” Bandura said. “Offensively, she’s a great contact hitter. She’s able to drive the ball in either gap and developed into a great leader. I’ll miss penciling her name in the lineup next year.”
Danville’s junior catcher had terrific season at the plate and in the field. She hit .505 with a .628 on-base percentage with five home runs and 39 RBIs. She hit 11 doubles, had 47 hits and reached base 71 times.
“Taylor is an outstanding defensive player as well with a strong arm and good footwork. Taylor puts in a lot of extra time in the offseason and will be traveling the southeast and midwest states this summer with a traveling team,” Perry said. “Taylor is very driven, sometimes to a fault, to be successful at the sport and has high expectations and aspirations in playing softball.”
The Rebels’ junior center fielder made All-Area team the team for the second-straight season, and is hitting .322 with one home run, 14 runs scored and two doubles. She was also second on the team with eight stolen bases and had 28 hits.
“Amy Woolum is an outfielder whose speed and power makes her dangerous at the plate and in the field,” Deem said. “I look for big things to come her way in her final season.”
Osbourn did not play her first three years of high school, but made up for lost time her senior season for Mercer. She was hitting .410 with 10 doubles, two homers, 39 RBIs and a .522 on-base percentage heading into the regional tournament.
“She has the ‘wow’ factor because she missed three years,” Lyons said. “She hasn’t let me down one iota. She’s one of the fastest girls, if not the fastest in the 12th Region. She’s got wheels on her. She can hammer the ball. She has a great work ethic and a great demeanor. I couldn’t be more pleased with what she accomplished and am blessed she came back for her senior season.”
The Boyle sophomore right fielder put up solid numbers across the board. She is hitting .333 with two home runs, 18 RBIs and eight doubles. She has a team-high 37 hits and has scored 20 runs.
“Danielle has unlimited talent,” Deem said. “She has a strong bat with power and finesse. She may become one of our best hitters by the end of her career.”
The Danville junior played several positions for the Admirals, and made the All-Area team as an outfielder. She hit .290 with 31 hits, reached base 58 times and scored 37 runs.
“Kayla is ultra quick. Many of the errors she forces is due to her speed and ability to run bases. She has scored multiple times this year from second base without the ball leaving the infield,” Perry said. “Kayla is ball-hawking centerfielder who has spent most of her time on the infield this year due to necessity. Hopefully next year she will be able to return to the spot she excels in the most.”
The Boyle sophomore played designated hitter this season, and leads the team with three home runs, 29 RBIs and 11 doubles. She is hitting .315, has 35 hits and has scored 14 runs.
“Sammi has been fantastic this season,” Deem said. “Her strength makes her dangerous to where pitchers have to always be cautious when pitching to her.”
Miniard excelled wherever she played, and has made the All-Area team every year since her eighth-grade season.
She had just 71 plate appearances this season, being ruled eligible to play during spring break after her move from Garrard County, but has still hit a team-high .493 with two home runs, 21 RBIs, 10 doubles and 35 hits.
“Hannah has been a fantastic addition to the Boyle County family. Her play speaks for itself,” Deem said. “She has handled her transition with grace and dignity.”
On the mound, she has gone 10-3 with a save, a 1.51 ERA and has struck out 109 batters with 15 walks in 65 innings.
Kae-Lynn Bradshaw, Burgin; Emma Breitenbach, Danville; Stacia Bryant, Mercer County; Logan Ellis, Garrard County; Gabby Gabriel, Lincoln County; Rachyl Lyons, Garrard County; Jordyn Perry, Danville; Elysse Petrie, Boyle County; Taylor Readnower, Mercer County; Taylor Schroeder, Mercer County.