By Tim Chambers
It was a crazy year to say the least for area high school softball. Elizabethton won the conference but couldn’t defeat Sullivan East. Johnson County defeated Unicoi County for the first time in 10 years on the Blue Devil’s diamond but couldn’t find a way to get past the Cyclones or Happy Valley. They also split games with the Lady Patriots and Unaka out of the Watauga Valley Conference and won two of three games versus Sullivan South.
So picking the 2016 All Johnson /Carter County team was quite a challenge for our prognosticators, but like “Larry the Cable Guy,” we manag
ed to “get ‘er done.”
Player of the Year honors go to Elizabethton’s Lauren Brickey. The talented sophomore drove in a
whopping 51 runs while batting .424 with eight homers. Happy Valley’s Emily Whitaker also received some strong consideration.
Four Cyclones will join Brickey on the squad.
Kennedy Richardson earned a spot on the team with a hefty .413 batting average. Maci Herman gets the nod at shortstop, hitting .366 from her leadoff spot. She also scored 46 runs. Abby McKinney hit .333 and was one of the league’s top defensive players at third base.
Kellie Cunningham, the final Cyclone, heads up the pitching staff. She amassed a record of 19-7 with a 1.90 ERA.
A trio of Lady Warriors was also selected. Whitaker, Kalee Johnson and McKenzie Davis were all unanimous selections.
Whitaker batted .497 and drove in 39 runs. She also totaled a team high 72 hits and eight home runs. Davis hit a hefty .407 with five home runs and 40 RBIs.
Johnson swatted six triples, three homers and batted .444 with 21 doubles. She also gathered 18 victories on the mound.
Johnson County nabbed three spots led by Milligan signee Brianna Snyder. The talented senior hit .421 while logging double-digit wins on the mound. Kelsey Duperry led the team in hitting with a .442 batting average and was also tops in RBIs. Michala Cretsinger batted .362 and received a ton of praise for her defensive play that included only one error from her centerfield slot.
Rounding out the squad is Unaka’s sophomore tandem of Kaitlyn Weaver and Corie Schuettler.
Weaver led the team in hitting at .427 and Schuettler bagged 16 mound victories.
The Rangers also landed the Top Newcomer in Madison Pierce. The talented freshman hit .343 while batting in the leadoff spot.
Elizabethton’s Kenny Hardin gets the nod as Coach of the Year after leading the Cyclones to the sub-state and a conference championship.
Thanks to the staff at Carter County Sports for their assistance in helping with our selections.