Softball’s stars: 2023 All-County softball team released

Published 5:08 pm Thursday, June 8, 2023

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

It was another spectacular year for one of the county’s most consistent sports during the spring of 2023, as six softball teams made it to regionals, two made it to state and one finished in the top four of its classification on the final day of the state tournament.

Much of that success was due to standout athletes and some of the best softball players in the state competing for some of the top coaches.

That combination led to one of the more competitive and balanced seasons over the last few years, with many teams battling in the toughest area in their classification.

Due to the resiliency and talent of the players, plenty of success followed, which leads us to the 2023 All-County Softball Team, which honors the top players from the year on a first and second team, as well as honorable mention players.

First Team

Pitcher: Aubree Hooks, sophomore, Thompson. As a sophomore, Hooks gained a lot of respect late and was trusted as a starter multiple times during the playoffs. She finished the season with a 10-0 record in the circle, totaling 65 strikeouts and an ERA of 1.31. She finished the year with three shutouts and gave up 12 earned runs and 48 hits.

Pitcher: Ella Reed, senior, Spain Park. The county’s leader in wins and strikeouts this season, Reed finished with 20 wins in the circle and was the only player to finish with more than 200 strikeouts at 225. She held an ERA of 1.78 in 165 1/3 innings pitched and led the county with six shutouts.

Catcher: Maggie Daniel, junior, Spain Park. One of the top offensive and defensive players in the state, Daniel put together an impressive .444 batting average for Spain Park this season. She finished third in the county with 10 home runs, finished in a tie for third with 14 doubles, finished fourth in hits with 55 and fifth in RBIs with 39.

First base: Chalea Clemmons, senior, Thompson. One of the top overall players in the state this season and arguably the top player in Shelby County, Clemmons didn’t just dominate at the plate, but she put together a stellar season in the circle and at first base. In the circle, she finished second in the county in strikeouts with 150 and totaled 13 wins with a 13-3 record. That win total tied for second, while she held an ERA of 2.24. At the plate, she finished with the fifth best batting average at .446, led the county with 55 RBIs and finished fourth with 58 hits. Clemmons finished second in doubles with 15 and tied for fourth with nine home runs. 

Second base: Laney Williams, junior, Thompson. It was another successful season for Williams, who split time between second base and catcher. A leader for the Warriors, she totaled 52 hits and 30 RBIs and batted .433 and stole 16 bases safely in 17 attempts. She totaled eight doubles, two triples and four home runs this season. 

Shortstop: Dailynn Motes, junior, Thompson. Last year’s Hitter of the Year, Motes wasn’t too far off her pace of 72 hits and a .503 average this season. She finished her junior year with the third best batting average at .469, while she finished second in the county with 68 hits and 47 RBIs. Motes finished second in the county with 15 doubles and tied for fourth with nine home runs. She also scored more than 50 runs, finishing third in the county, and stole 20 bases safely in 21 attempts to finish in a tie for third.

Third base: Katie Flannery, senior, Spain Park. One of the most dangerous hitters in the state this season, Flannery’s 41 walks showcase how much opposing teams respected her. That led the county by a wide margin, while she finished with the second best batting average in the county at .481, finished second in the county with 62 hits, finished second with 11 home runs and finished tied for third with 14 doubles. She also finished tied for second with 53 runs scored and drove home 28 runs.

Outfield: Presley Lively, junior, Helena. This year’s Hitter of the Year in Shelby County, Lively led the county in one of the biggest hitting category with a jaw-dropping 76 hits. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, she also led the county with a batting average of .535 and led the county by more than 30 stolen bases with a total of 67 stolen bases in 71 attempts. In addition to those numbers, she led the county with 65 runs scored and finished with 31 RBIs. Lively totaled seven doubles, finished second in the county with five triples and added two home runs.

Outfield: Emma Hawkins, junior, Oak Mountain. The top bat for Oak Mountain this season, Hawkins competed against a challenging area and put together a batting average of .434 thanks to 46 hits. Those hits included three doubles and three triples, while she finished the season with 13 RBIs and 10 stolen bases for the Eagles. 

Outfield: Olivia Tindell, sophomore, Thompson. Another strong bat for the Warriors, Tindell finished with 50 hits during her sophomore season, including 11 doubles, eight home runs and three triples. She put together a .400 batting average and drove home 35 runs, while she finished fifth in the county with 47 runs scored.

Designated Hitter: Paci Clark, senior, Shelby County. This year’s home run leader, Clark closed a special career with the Wildcats by hitting 12 bombs. She also finished with the fourth best batting average at .468 thanks to 44 hits. Those hits included eight doubles and a triple in addition to her 12 home runs, while she finished third in the county with 45 RBIs and tied for second with 53 runs.  

Designated Hitter: Jessica Gray, junior, Pelham. The leader at the plate for the Pelham Panthers this season, Gray held a .452 batting average thanks to 52 hits, including 10 doubles, two triples and two home runs. She finished the season with 27 RBIs and added 29 runs scored.

Utility: Victoria Mauterer, senior, Helena. Mauterer was big in the circle and at the plate for the Huskies this season, finishing with a strong total of 53 hits. She held a .390 batting average, finished fourth in the county with 44 RBIs and put together 11 doubles. In the circle, she finished the year with a 2.14 ERA, picked up 10 wins with a 10-5 record and struck out 45 batters.

Utility: Sydney Carroll, sophomore, Chelsea. With a .400 batting average this season, Carroll led the way for the Chelsea Hornets. She finished the season with 32 hits, including seven doubles and eight home runs, and drove home 23 runs, while she scored 22. 

Second Team

Pitcher: Hayden Traywick, Freshman, Helena. Just a freshman, Traywick was one of three Helena pitchers with 10 wins this season, but her 88 strikeouts in 77 2/3 innings pitched was astounding. That put her with the fourth most strikeouts, while she held an ERA of 2.54 and finished the season with a 10-3 record. Traywick gave up 64 hits and 28 earned runs. She also finished with a .353 batting average offensively, totaling 36 hits and 33 RBIs.

Pitcher: Ella Ussery, junior, Spain Park. Finishing off a strong 1-2 punch for the Jaguars was Ussery, who wasn’t far behind Reed. During her junior year, she pitched 107 innings and totaled 117 strikeouts to finish third in the county. She also amassed 13 wins with a 13-6 record and finished with a 2.36 ERA.

Catcher: Caitlin Bland, freshman, Shelby County. Bland finished with the third best batting average for the Wildcats this season at .395 thanks to 32 hits, including eight home runs. She also finished with four doubles and totaled 30 RBIs with 29 runs scored. 

First base: Amelia Powell, senior, Helena. A 10-win pitcher in the circle for the Huskies with 65 strikeouts, Powell was also big at the plate with a .333 batting average. Beyond that, she totaled 41 hits and 32 RBIs for the Huskies, which were third and second on the team, respectively.

Second base: Baylor McCluney, junior, Chelsea. McCluney finished second on Chelsea’s team this season with 40 hits against some of the state’s best teams. She finished with four doubles and two triples, while she totaled nine RBIs, 26 runs scored and a batting average of .351.

Shortstop: Elizabeth Zaleski, senior, Oak Mountain. Batting just under .400, Zaleski finished her senior season with a .398 batting average, totaling 41 hits for the Eagles against a challenging schedule. She finished the year with 25 RBIs and in double figures with 10 doubles.

Third base: Jordan Howard, junior, Pelham. A leader for the Panthers, Howard finished this season with a .396 batting average at the plate thanks to an impressive 44 hits, while she led the team with 30 RBIs and 35 runs scored. She totaled five home runs and four doubles, while she scored 35 runs.

Outfield: Morgan Dupree, senior, Shelby County. One of the best players in the county this season, Dupree finished just behind Clark at the plate for the Wildcats. She held a .412 batting average and totaled 42 hits, including eight doubles, four triples and two home runs. She also drove home 29 runs and scored 33.

Outfield: Sheridan Andrews, freshman, Oak Mountain. With 38 hits this season, Andrews was one of the best power hitters for the Eagles. She finished the season with 12 doubles, three home runs and two triples, while she held a batting average of .373. She also finished with 29 RBIs to lead Oak Mountain.

Outfield: Kathryn Bryars, senior, Chelsea. The county’s leader in triples this season with six, Bryars was one of Chelsea’s team leaders. She finished the season with a .367 batting average thanks to 44 total hits, which led the team. She also put together 28 RBIs and scored 25 runs for the Hornets. 

Designated Hitter: Kendall Channell, senior, Thompson. During her final season, Channell put together an impressive 37 hits and 25 RBIs for the Warriors, while she ended the year with a .336 batting average. She put together five doubles and five home runs for the Warriors.

Designated Hitter: Mary Beth Allen, senior, Helena. With a .382 batting average, Allen was another strong bat for Helena. She finished the season with 39 hits, including six doubles, and drove home 22 runs, while scoring 23 runs.

Utility: Meredith Kellum, junior, Briarwood. A junior for the Lions, Kellum held one of the highest batting averages this season at .466. She finished the year with 26 RBIs and totaled six home runs.

Utility: Caitlyn Bailey, senior, Shelby County. Bailey held a similar pace to several of her teammates this season, finishing her senior season with a .395 batting average. She totaled 34 hits to finish third on the team, including five doubles, a triple and a home run. She used that to total 23 RBIs and 25 runs scored.

Utility: Tyeshia Williams, junior, Calera. The leader at the plate for Calera this season, Tyeshia Williams batted north of .400 with an impressive average of .440. That pace helped the Eagles win the area tournament and earn another trip to regionals.

Honorable mention: Kate Townsend, Calera. Keara Hall, Calera. Lily Townley, Calera. Mia Wade, Calera. Kinley Rogers, Calera. Bristol Rogers, Calera. Abby Hibbs, Chelsea. Claire Purkey, Chelsea. Emma Olive, Helena. Emily Mackin, Oak Mountain. Anna DuBose, Oak Mountain. Alea Rye, Oak Mountain. Caroline Graham, Oak Mountain. McKenzie Little, Pelham. Laini Stewart, Pelham. Ryann Jones, Pelham. Kaydence Connell, Shelby County. Maleah Hale, Shelby County. Charlee Bennett, Spain Park. Caroline Charles, Spain Park.