SYLACAUGA—The Sylacauga Lady Aggies and Childersburg Lady Tigers both earned trips to the South-Central Regional at Troy this season, and they were rewarded with a strong presence in the 2014 All-County selections. Sylacauga earned six total first-team selections, while Childersburg’s Chelsea Mowery earned The Daily Home’s class 4A-5A Player of the Year.
Sylacauga left fielder Brooke Ogle earned her second straight first-team selection. She batted .358 this season.
“She looked after everybody,” head coach Olivia Harmon said. “She had that positive reinforcement, not only in game time but at practice. She is a true competitor of the game.”
The team’s ace pitcher, Angela Shierling, earned first-team honors. At the plate, Shierling batted .344 on the season.
“Angela Shierling is one that has been absolutely the anchor to the softball program as a pitcher,” Harmon said. “She will be one that is extremely missed. Coaches all over ask when the red-headed pitcher is going to leave, because she has been here for so long pitching for us. I’ve seen her go four or five games in tournaments pitching the entire time. She is one that will take command of the field and she is a great game manager. She pitched the best she’s ever pitched in Troy, hands down.”
Her battery partner behind the backstop earned a first-team nod after batting .387 in her sophomore season.
“Paige Morris is a catcher and she is just incredible behind the plate,” Harmon said. “She is literally the captain of the field. As many times as I was about to walk out there, she would gather them all. She knew instantly when to talk to them, when to calm them down, when to make them get back into the game and take control of the situation.”
Morris hopes to do even bigger things next season.
“The season went a lot better than I expected,” she said. “We all came together as one unit. It all showed and paid off in the long run.”
Kay Kay Owens repeated as an All-County selection, but earned a first-team spot this season. The center fielder finished the season with a .350 batting average.
“Kay Kay was the captain of the outfield,” Harmon said. “She could cover ground like I’ve never seen before. She was outstanding out there defensively. She was either getting to the balls or backing the right fielder up, just an outstanding center fielder. She will be hard to replace with the amount of ground that child can cover.”
Owens is proud to have finished her senior season with a strong showing in Troy.
“The season started off a little rocky, but us making it to Troy and coming in second in the area was a big accomplishment,” Owens said. “We surprised a lot of people that didn’t think we would make it that far.”
Third baseman Laycee Sherbert and second baseman Mollie Medine rounded out the Sylacauga first-team selections.
“Laycee Sherbert batted at the No. 2 spot and she was excellent not only hitting the ball, but running and getting on base,” Harmon said. Sherbert hit .382 this season.
Medine was pleased to earn a second straight first-team selection after hitting .362 on the season.
“It made me feel like I did my job this season, like I helped the team as much as possible,” she said. “I feel like I progressed throughout the season.”
Junior shortstop Baylee Poore earned an honorable mention selection after hitting .395 this season.
“We have a big senior class coming back, so I hope we can make it to the same place and maybe a little bit farther next year,” Poore said.
Harmon earned Co-Coach of the Year.
“It was just priceless that another coach nominated me,” Harmon said. “That spoke volumes. I’ve only been coaching for three years, but the person that nominated me stated it was huge that in three years the program made it to Troy. That meant the world to me, just being nominated. It just shows what the team can do. It was just an honor for me and it speaks volumes about the program and for our community.”
Poore said Harmon is a great leader for the Lady Aggies.
“Mrs. Harmon always picks us up,” she said. “She’s always behind us, on the field and off the field as well. She’s always giving us little inspirational quotes to help us. She’s just a great coach and a great leader to us as young women.”
Childersburg’s Hillary Rogers also earned Co-Coach of the Year.
“It was surprising for my second year as a head coach. Your first year you’re kind of just figuring out how things work and how you do things and how you handle the girls. The second year you’ve got it figured out, but now you’re trying to get your coaching style in cement. It’s just not something you expect in your second year. It was a real honor for me. Those girls, they worked hard all season and we reached our goal for the season. We didn’t reach the ultimate goal, but you have to make it to regionals to make it to state.”
Childersburg had four first team selections, with Chelsea Mowery earning Player of the Year. Mowery finished the season with a .435 batting average with a .500 on-base percentage, 50 hits, 33 RBIs, 13 doubles and 2 home runs. She was Childersburg’s ace pitcher.
“We kind of rode her arm all year long,” Rogers said. “She ended the season with only two strikeouts with a .435 average and 33 RBIs. You can’t really ask for anything better from a junior. You expect those kinds of stats from a senior who knows they’re going to play college somewhere. Chelsea produced every game for us, whether it was pitching, whether it was being the DP, she just produced all year long.”
When Mowery wasn’t pitching, she still found her way into the team’s lineup.
“There was no way she wasn’t going to find her way into the lineup,” Rogers said. “I tell my girls ‘Even if you can’t catch a cold, if you can hit, you will find a spot in this lineup.’ Chelsea proved every single day she wanted a spot in the lineup. Even if one of our other pitchers was pitching, she was going to hit. There was no question about that.”
Mowery’s receiver behind the backstop, Marisa Ward, also earned a first-team selection.
“Her shoulder is hurt; she’s having surgery this summer,” Rogers said. “But she played through the pain. We actually let her split time with a younger catcher that we were teaching how to do things. She actually helped us a lot to do that. … You could always depend on her behind the plate to do what she needed to do. She’s a really solid defensive player.”
Center fielder Knea Malone earned a first-team selection after batting .339 this season.
“She was a very solid outfielder for us,” Rogers said. “One play I specifically remember was when we were playing Holtville. She makes a diving play and throws back to second base to make a double play and we end up winning the game.”
First baseman Destiny Datcher was a defensive stalwart for the Lady Tigers.
“She only had 10 errors all season,” Rogers said. “At first base, that’s pretty good because you handle the ball third-most on the field besides the pitcher and the catcher. She was a really good defensive player for us this year.”
Tariah Reynolds and Jessica Parris earned honorable-mention selections.
The Lincoln Lady Golden Bears earned a second straight trip to Regionals under head coach Jessica Dorough. Christavia Curry and Savannah Sands earned first team selections.
Munford shortstop and pitcher Kierra Groce, third baseman Carleigh Taylor and shortstop Lindsey Harris all earned first-team selections. Pitcher Candice Pope earned an honorable mention selection.
Talladega’s Quintasia Kelly, BreAnna Porter and Mercedes Dickerson earned first-team selections, with Dejara Porter earning an honorable mention selection.