Different paths lead to Player of the Year
Published 6:00 am Wednesday, June 15, 2011
By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor
Briarwood Christian School baseball standout Daniel Robert and Chelsea High School softball standout Caitlin Bice used two different paths to separate themselves from their counterparts in Shelby County this season.
The pair played a key role in leading their respective teams to the postseason.
Sheer statistical dominance led to Robert being named the baseball Player of the Year and leadership at the plate and in the circle earned Bice the nod as the softball Player of the Year.
Robert led the Lions with a .556 batting average and 10 home runs while driving in 48 runs. Robert finished with a 1.020 slugging percentage and a .609 on-base percentage while leading Briarwood Christian to within a game of the quarterfinal round of the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 5A baseball playoffs.
Robert, who helped the Lions to a 19-12 mark this year, finished with 59 total hits, including 27 extra-base hits as a sophomore. Robert, who has developed a penchant for playoff homers, blasted three bombs in the Lions’ first-round series against Pleasant Grove.
Robert, who has played a key role in leading the Lions to consecutive AHSAA Class 5A playoff appearances, led Briarwood Christian in every single offensive statistic category during the 2011 season. Robert also spent time on the mound, mostly in relief, as he finished with six appearances, including one start.
Bice led the Hornets with a .481 batting average and three home runs while driving in 35 runs. Bice finished with a .545 on-base percentage and led Chelsea with 22 walks as a junior.
Bice finished with 77 total hits, including a team-high 23 doubles, as she led the Hornets to the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 5A state tournament for the second year in a row. Bice helped the Hornets to their best ever finish at the state tournament after Chelsea notched wins against Eufaula and eventual state champion Mortimer Jordan.
Despite Bice’s numbers at the plate, the right-handed pitcher was even better in the circle.
Bice finished with a 14-8 record in the circle with a 1.83 earned run average. Bice pitched 11 complete games, including three complete-game shutouts during the season. Bice made 50 appearances for the Hornets as a junior, including 16 starts.
Bice, who also recorded five saves in relief appearances, finished with 88 strikeouts in 126 innings in the circle.
Bice, in her third season on the varsity team, led the Hornets in batting average, total hits, RBIs, doubles, home runs and runs scored during the 2011 season.
2011 ALL-COUNTY BASEBALL TEAM
C – Harrison Foster, Briarwood Christian, Sr.
IF – Alex Close, Spain Park, Sr.
IF – Jeremy Hyde, Calera, Jr.
IF – Daniel Robert, Briarwood Christian, Soph.
IF – Mikey White, Spain Park, Jr.
OF – Matt Haskins, Thompson, Sr.
OF – Jake Campbell, Chelsea, Sr.
OF – Paul Angel, Spain Park, Sr.
DH – David Dahl, Oak Mountain, Jr.
UT — Jarred Mims, Coosa Valley, Sr.
P – Trevor Fitts, Pelham, Sr.
P – Jake Hubbard, Oak Mountain, Sr.
P – Logan Crook, Briarwood Christian, Sr.
P – Jonathan Keller, Thompson, Sr.
Honorable mention: Connor Pinegar, Heath Quinn and John David (J.D.) Crowe, Oak Mountain; Tanner Jackson, Ty Pierce, Parker Curry and Hunter Soleymani, Pelham; Carter White, Colton Freeman and Chris Ellis, Spain Park; Chad Collum, Alex Henderson and Mason Morris, Thompson; Ben Craft, Matthew Furuto and Barnes Bankston, Briarwood Christian; Eli Bashour, Tripp Hobbs and Austin Dean, Chelsea; Mike Pate, Evan McNeal and Trey Howard, Shelby County; Nathan Smith, Chase Jones and J.R. Seay, Calera; Eric Smith, Zack Smith and Chase Hamrick, Montevallo; Stephen Himic and David Busby, Indian Springs; Chase Howard, Daniel Hawkins and Ben McKinney, Vincent; Madison Webb, Payton Sumrall and Ben Littrell, Kingwood Christian; Austin Davis, Chase Payne and Auston Wingard, Cornerstone Christian; Hunter Roe, John Bullen, Daniel Kennedy, Saxon Grimes and Nick Bates, Coosa Valley; Tyler Hickman and Matthew Hyde, Hope Christian; Hayden Brown, Ben Albright and Brandon Mackey, Evangel Christian.
2011 ALL-COUNTY SOFTBALL TEAM
C – Hannah Camp, Spain Park, Sr.
IF – Alex Osborn, Chelsea, Jr.
IF – Marly Terrell, Thompson, Sr.
IF – Caitlin Bice, Chelsea, Jr.
IF – Heather McGuirk, Pelham, Sr.
OF – Caroline Seay, Briarwood Christian, Sr.
OF – Erin Hornsby, Spain Park, Jr.
OF – Morgan Pence, Chelsea, Sr.
DH – Caroline Seitz, Oak Mountain, Soph.
UT — Allie Luster, Chelsea, Jr.
P – Whitney Gillespie, Kingwood Christian, Jr.
P – Nicole Kehr, Oak Mountain, Sr.
P – Jana Kelbie Armstrong, Cornerstone Christian, Jr.
P – Rachel Rigney, Thompson, Jr.
Honorable mention: Hannah Griffin, Leah Reeve and Maddie Ridgeway, Oak Mountain; Caitlyn Sapp, Erin Whitman and Becky Fox, Pelham; Keri Krake, April Scott and Haleigh Sisson, Spain Park; Taylor Powell, Sarah Beth Watkins and Ashleigh Short, Thompson; Sara Kate Bracewell, Brooke Calma and Ashlyn Boyd, Briarwood Christian; Amanda Mock, Kacie Craft and Carley Toretta, Chelsea; Brianna Buie, Kaitlyn Paschall and Courtney Shields, Shelby County; Kymber McGiboney, Jocelyn Davis and Shelby Clark, Calera; Mallory Anderson, Savannah Upton and Destiny Upton, Montevallo; Hollye Hamilton and Maranda Berry, Indian Springs; Courtney Holston, Tori Cato and Courtney Barber, Vincent; Madeline Lee, Erin Jones, Kaylyn Ingram and Jordan Gray, Kingwood Christian; Destiny Dillard, Kailey Goodwin, Allie Toney and Lorin Rodgers, Cornerstone Christian; Hannah Vick, Shelby Hurt and Kala Shaw, Coosa Valley; Lindy Walker and Ashley Vann, Hope Christian; Jessyca Ray and Anna Herndon, Evangel Christian.