Thompson’s Aubree Hooks named Shelby County Pitcher of the Year

Published 5:01 pm Monday, June 3, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

It was a big year for pitching in Shelby County as some of the area’s top aces were dominant throughout the season.

Kate Townley stepped up in a big way for Calera down the stretch as she parlayed her regular-season dominance into a marathon run through regionals while keeping her swing-and-miss pitches intact.

Hayden Traywick delivered as Helena’s go-to pitcher throughout the season as she held her gave up just 22 earned runs and racked up 15 wins on the road to state.

Thompson also got big innings from Kadyn Bush while the sophomore eclipsed 100 strikeouts and limited other teams to 28 total runs.

However, one name rose above the rest and separated herself as the county’s top arm: Thompson’s Aubree Hooks, the 2024 Shelby County Pitcher of the Year.

Hooks was asked to do a lot throughout the season as the first pitcher the Warriors called on. Oftentimes she would pitch multiple games in a day throughout tournaments, including marathons like the Gulf Coast Classic III, and she was the one coach Kevin Todd send to the circle in the playoffs.

Despite all the pressure and facing the toughest competition in Class 7A, the Indiana commit rose to the challenge time and again.

Across 34 games as a pitcher, Hooks went 22-4, including three no-hitters, and in the process, she kept opposing offenses from gaining much momentum at the plate.

In 131 innings, opponents only scored 38 runs, with just 24 being charged to Hooks. She also surrendered just 85 hits as opponents could only muster a .164 batting average against her.

She excelled at striking out opposing batters as she tied for the county lead with 145 strikeouts on the year against 42 walks, striking out an average of 7.7 batters per seven innings.

As a result, she finished out the year with an incredible 1.28 ERA and a county-best 0.97 WHIP, the only pitcher in the county with a WHIP under 1.00.

She continually brought her best throughout the season and set up the Warriors offense for success in big situations as Thompson finished runner-up in both the area tournament and regionals to reach the state tournament.

Her contributions in the circle lifted the Warriors to another successful season, and now she’ll enter her senior year with a big accolade: Shelby County’s top pitcher.