The Star won’t release its Calhoun County postseason softball teams for another week. The Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Class 3A all-state team just looks whole lot like an all-county squad.
The area, more specifically Area 9, produced both the North Central Regional champion in White Plains and the state champion in Saks. Between them, the two teams both nicknamed the Lady Wildcats took home all of the big name awards given out to the state’s best in the classification.
Saks pitcher Taylor West was named both Class 3A’s Pitcher of the Year and Player of the Year after hurling her team to a championship, capping off a state tournament run with a perfect game in the title-clincher against 2011 champion Pisgah. Often West’s nemesis at the plate, White Plains shortstop Jordan Coleman was named Hitter of the Year.
The 6-foot-1 West wowed her opponents and onlookers with her performances this past postseason. At the state tournament in Montgomery, she shut things down, needing just nine runs in four games to catapult her school to the first state title in the sport.
“It still really hasn’t set in yet,” West said of her achievementt. “I think it will once we get our rings.”
The right-hander went 35-10 atop the mound this past season, allowing 30 earned runs on 114 hits. She had 17 shutouts and eight no-hitters while striking out 508 for an earned run average of 0.73.
She wasn’t too bad at the plate either, batting .378 with 55 hits, including 10 home runs.
West’s coach, Mike Tucker, was named the Class 3A Coach of the Year for guiding his team to a 39-15 record and a state title during a season which included seven losses to White Plains, the state’s top-ranked team.
“For two teams in the same area to win four of the biggest awards, it says a lot about the quality of the teams not only in our area but in the North Central Regional,” Tucker said. “White Plains has had a tremendous team the past two years and Jordan Coleman was the best hitter we faced all year.”
Coleman, a University of Mobile signee, batted .477, going 72-151 with 14 home runs and 58 RBIs while scoring 65 runs. One of the most feared hitters in the state, she was walked 36 times. That figure was tops among all players nominated for all-state at her position.
“Coach (Rachel) Ford used to always tell me it’s a sign of respect because it used to make me so mad,” Coleman said of the frequent walks. “This year I kind of got used to it. I knew if they messed up, it was going to be a bad day (for them) because I was going to hit it.”
Coleman is joined on the first team by teammate freshman Anna Snider. Snider, who was the named the Class 3A Pitcher of the Year as an eighth-grader a year ago went 37-7-2 while striking out 196 in 273 innings of work. She gave up 81 runs, 51 earned.
Ragland, which captured the Class 1A state title, can boast of a pair of first-team selections. Pitcher Sommar Wright was a first-team choice, as was second baseman Kailey Echols.
Wright, also tabbed as the Class 1A Pitcher and Player of the Year, went 30-8 and struck out 288 while giving up a sparse 19 earned runs for a 1.33 earned run average.
Echols was a problem for opposing pitchers. The sophomore batted .505 with six homers on 55 hits.
Cherokee County pitcher Tori Davis and catcher Madison Milsaps received first-team nods in Class 4A.
Oxford’s Ashleigh McClure (6A), Alexandria’s Morgan Read (4A), Saks’ Kelly Kilgore, Ragland’s Lauren Wright and Spring Garden’s Heather and Jessica Smart were tabbed as honorable mentions.