Stats don't reflect Stewart's year
by Luke Brietzke
Sports Writer
Jun 24, 2009 | 1674 views |  0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Photo: Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star
Photo: Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star
Glancing at Piedmont third baseman Miranda Stewart's numbers as a junior, it could be assumed that Stewart's production dropped ever so slightly as a senior.

That, Piedmont coach Matt Deerman said, couldn't be further from the truth.

"She's been our best power hitter the last three years," Deerman said. "In the past, she had more experienced players and she drove more runs in. This year, we had a really, really young team, and there was a lot of weight on her shoulders.

"She came up in big situations with runners on base, and she'd hit a home run or a double seemingly every time. Her numbers weren't as high as they were in the past, but she came through whenever she came up in big situations."

Stewart capped a record-setting career with another stellar season. She hit .429 with four home runs, 39 RBIs and 14 doubles. That production made her The Star's choice for the 2009 1A-3A Calhoun County Softball Player of the Year.

rrounded by younger talent, Stewart transitioned from second base — where she started each of the past three years — to third base. Deerman said she was a valuable utilityman defensively, in addition to her offensive prowess.

Stewart's steadiness also helped her catch enough eyes to attract a scholarship offer to continue her career at Southern Union.

"That means a lot to me," Stewart said. "I always wanted to play college ball. I was really excited when they offered me."

Deerman said he thinks Stewart could open doors for future players to come through the Piedmont program. In the past, Deerman said, he has had players capable of playing on the collegiate level. He thinks Stewart has the potential to give Piedmont players a stronger reputation among colleges.

Stewart finished as one of Piedmont's most highly decorated players. She holds the career record in home runs (15) RBIs (145) and batting average (.412).

She also set program single-season records in home runs and RBIs in 2008.

"I was really excited about that," Stewart said. "I can look back and know I really accomplished all that. It feels really good."

The 2009 season marked the emergence of Stewart, the leader. Mostly, though, Stewart let her bat do the talking.

"She was one of two team captains," Deerman said. "She doesn't say a whole lot but when she does, people listen to her. At practice, she went out there and worked. She showed them hard work is what gets you where you need to be. She was a great leader by example."
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Stats don't reflect Stewart's year by Luke Brietzke
Sports Writer

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