Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

June 9, 2014

All-State honors abound for area softball

ASHLAND — A talent-rich season for area softball is reflected on the Kentucky High School Softball Coaches Association All-State teams.

Ashland’s Megan Hensley and Boyd County’s Taylor Wheeler received first team Class 2A All-State honors. Another 16th Region player, Menifee County’s Erika Brewer, was named first team in Class A.

Three other players — McKenzie Vanover (Ashland), Montana Fouts (East Carter) and Brooke Williamson (Johnson Central) — were second team selections, while Rachelle Fairchild (Johnson Central) received honorable mention recognition.

Hensley and Vanover helped lead Ashland to a sixth consecutive 16th Region championship, school-record 33 wins and 2-2 finish at last week’s Worth/KHSAA State Tournament in Owensboro.

“I’m really proud of both of them,” Kittens coach Dave Miller said. “I was a little disappointed McKenzie did not get first team. Both were huge cogs in our team’s success. McKenzie had a stellar season and career. Megan was tremendous in the circle and with the bat. Both of them went to five state tournaments.”

Hensley, the 2014 Gatorade Kentucky Player of the Year, landed a spot on the All-State Tournament team after leading the tournament in stikeouts for the second consecutive year with 46 in 28 innings. The junior righthander topped the 400 strikeout mark for the second year in a row and took a .561 season batting average to Owensboro.

Vanover slammed 14 home runs as a senior and 44 for her career — No. 2 on the state’s all-time list. She had 51 runs scored and a .451 batting average through regional tournament play.   

Boyd County’s Wheeler hit .479 during her senior year with eight homers, 53 runs, 41 RBIs and 52 stolen bases in 53 attempts. Boyd County coach Geoff Stewart called the All-State first team honor a good way for Wheeler to go out.

She was also voted the 16th Region’s top player in the 16th Region by the KHSSCA.

“Taylor had an impressive senior year and great career,” Stewart said. “She deserves any honor that comes to her.”

Menifee County’s Brewer struck out 249 batters this season to go with a 0.881 ERA and .444 batting average.

Fouts made a huge splash as an eighth-grader for East Carter with an 18-3 pitching record, .160 ERA and .411 batting average.

Johnson Central’s Williamson (.380, 4 HRs, 16 steals) and Fairchild (.440, 4 HRs, 30 RBI) were mainstays for the 15th Region champs.  

Several area players and coaches will participate in the East/West All-Star Series this weekend at Ballard High School in Louisville.

Wheeler, Vanover and Williamson are on the East senior roster, with Boyd County’s Stewart and Rowan County’s Larry Slone making up half of that squad’s coaching staff.

Local players on the East junior roster include Kenzi Martin and Lora Thompson of Boyd County, along with Ashland’s Megan Griffith.

Former Kentucky Miss Softball Amber Riddle of Rowan County is among the inductees for the Kentucky Prep Softball Hall of Fame on Saturday night at the Ramada Plaza.   

ROCKY STANLEY can be reached at rstanley@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2671.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • MARK MAYNARD: Looking for those who inspire

    Inspirtation, they say, comes from within. It is defined as an inspiring or animating action or influence.

    July 22, 2014

  • 0722KYPGA_152.jpg Jones tops Gillum in playoff at Eagle Trace

    Ashland senior golfer Logan Jones didn't shoot his average Monday.
    He didn't mind.
    His three-over par 75 and one-hole playoff win over Elliott County junior Ryan Gillum gave him the Boys Open division title in the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour stop at Morehead State University's Eagle Trace Golf Course.

    July 21, 2014 6 Photos

  • 102213_329a.jpg Raceland tabs Clark as new girls basketball coach

    Jason Clark has a reputation of being — to use his word — “passionate” on the Raceland volleyball sideline.
    He plans to bring that same approach as the Lady Rams’ new basketball coach.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0305region2_389.jpg Pass the Mayo: East sophomore PG, Lady Raiders preparing for winter run

    East Carter sophomore point guard Kristen Mayo has played basketball for as long as she can remember.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0718spinda.jpg Steelers super fan Spinda to be recognized in Florida

    Shawn Spinda doesn’t have to use speech to profess his passion for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
    All it takes is a quick glance for a person to get the picture.
    But to absorb the whole picture, you’ll need to clear your schedule.
    Spinda is one of several fanatics who will be recognized at the Sports Fans Conference in Orlando, Florida, which is set for Aug. 28-Sept. 1 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. He is a “What a Fan” NFL Fan of the Year nominee.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703rfLL0204.jpg Little League State Baseball: Ready to run

    Morehead 11- and 12-year-old All-Star baseball manager Toby Gardner collectively likened his team to a racehorse.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0717prokick1.jpg Prokicker.com camp Eleven Ashland Tomcat football players were part of the Ray Guy Prokicker.com camp at Huntington High. The high-profile camps are put on all over the country. Rick Sang, an Ashland native who befriended Guy 20 years ago, is the camp's founder.

    July 16, 2014

  • 0716fbpractice0105.jpg Four-down territory: Making summer football practice pit stops

    ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?
    The popular Monday night catchphrase filled my room on Tuesday morning as my new alarm sounded off at 7 a.m.

    July 16, 2014 5 Photos

  • 0716softball.jpg KHSAA pushes presence of masks

    Fairview’s Sydney Ekers and Lewis County’s Kelsey Rizzo didn’t wear masks to play softball until after they were struck in the face by line drives.
    The Kentucky High School Athletic Association has made a recommendation that it hopes will reduce such instances.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • LOCAL SPORTS BRIEFS: Ellis on 'leave' for Fairview volleyball

    Lauren Ellis is stepping aside as Fairview’s volleyball coach for this fall in order to complete coursework on her master’s degree, she said Tuesday.

    July 16, 2014