aarea softball

Members of the All-Area softball team are (front row, left to right): Dave Miller, Katelynd Porter, Paige Porter, Mikal Miller, Amber Riddle, Whitney Short, Samantha Sparks, Paige Vanhoose and Tonia Lucas. Middle row, Carissa Evans, Stefanie Fosson, Tara Hammonds, Alisha Hamrick, Corey Huston, Sarah Justice and Shandra Lewis. Back row, Holli Adkins, Marissa Adkins, Emily Akers, Heather Akers, Megan Brown, Shannon Cornette, Katie Daniel, Haley Eagle, Lauren Ellis and Lindsay Ellis.

If 16th Region coaches have it right, things are looking up for Transylvania University’s softball program.

Boyd County shortstop Lauren Ellis and Fairview pitcher Katie Daniel — both Transylvania signees — were voted the top players by region coaches on the All-16th Region Team.

Ellis, the Player of the Year who hit .407 for the Lady Lions with 32 RBIs and 23 stolen bases, was a Class 3A all-state honorable mention and is one of 17 players who made the Kentucky All-Star team that meets the Tennessee stars next week in Bowling Green.

“I was shocked, actually. There are so many deserving girls (of the Player of the Year award),” said Ellis, who said she expects to be a middle infielder for the Pioneers. “It feels like it wraps up all the accomplishments of the year. I’m really honored and I’m very happy about it.”

Daniel, the Pitcher of the Year, was a Class A first-team all-state selection and finished her career with 1,060 strikeouts, putting her sixth on Kentucky’s all-time strikeout list. During her career, Daniel had six perfect games, seven no-hitters, 20 shutouts and compiled a record of 67-32.

Teammate Carissa Evans, the Lady Eagles’ catcher who was also on the All-16th Region Team, was a second-team all-state pick in Class A. Fairview’s Holli Adkins also made the all-region team.

“This is a material showing for what I’ve worked for,” Daniel said. “This means a lot because it shows I reached some of my goals.”

Joining Ellis from Boyd County on the team are Emily Akers, Megan Brown, Shannon Cornette and sister Lindsay Ellis.

Six-time defending region champion Russell placed four players on the team — Marissa Adkins, Stefanie Fosson, Corey Huston and Samantha Sparks. Region runner-up Raceland had three players make the team — Katelynd Porter, Paige Porter and Paige VanHoose.

Rounding out the team are Heather Akers (Ashland), Mikal Miller (Ashland), Whitney Short (Ashland), Haley Eagle (Morgan County), Shandra Lewis (Morgan County), Tara Hammonds (Rose Hill), Alisha Hamrick (Rowan County), Amber Riddle (Rowan County) and Sarah Justice (Greenup County).

Ashland coach Dave Miller and Fairview coach Tonia Lucas were Co-Coaches of the Year. Miller guided Ashland to a 19-12 record and Lucas led Fairview to an 18-9 mark.

“I’m excited as I can be. It says a lot about the faith the administrators had in me since I’m not a teacher,” said Miller, a neural diagnostic technologist at King’s Daughters Medical Center. “It says our program is on the rise. That’s what we’re doing, we’re building a program.”

Lucas said the award is special because the 16th Region is competitive.

“It’s a great honor because there are a lot of really great coaches who work hard all year long,” she said. “I’ve been blessed to have a good core of kids to work with. For the most part we were a veteran team and that took us a long way in a lot of ball games.”

The team included 10 honorable mentions — Rachel Amburgey (Ashland), Jennifer Runyon (Boyd County), Kylie Fannin (Raceland), Kyra Baier (East Carter), Ashley Artis (East Carter), Lauren Latimer (Greenup County), Amanda Jamison (Lewis County), Kayla Lykins (Lewis County), Stefanie Howard (Rowan County) and Kelsey Simpson (Russell).

The coaches voted Paul Lewis and Bill Renzi as the region’s top umpires.

RICK GREENE can be reached at rgreene@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2664.

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