Salado’s Kristen Oakes was voted KDHPressbox.com Player of the Week. The junior right fielder came through with two clutch RBIs in Salado’s 5-1 area-championship win over Teague on May 2.
“It feels real good to get this honor,” Oakes said, several hours before Salado’s Thursday-night playoff contest against Bruceville-Eddy. “It really hasn’t quite sunk in yet just how far our team has gone this season. It’s surreal that we’ve made it into the third round.”
The Lady Eagles softball team is in the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history.
“My teammates are awesome,” Oakes said. “They’re always so encouraging. They always give it their all. We’re a true team, not just a bunch of individuals.”
Salado athletic director Brent Graham said, “I’m thrilled for Kristen winning Player of the Week. She is an unbelievable teammate. She’s a great kid. She’s a big part of why the team chemistry on our softball team is so strong. Anytime you see a student-athlete who puts the ‘student’ before ‘athlete’ — like Kristen does — it’s a great thing.”
Also nominated for Player of the Week were Sienna Lawson, who finished second in the voting, Dalton Hankamer and Casey Frazier.
Lawson, a freshman at Lampasas, pitched two scoreless innings in relief to preserve a series-clinching victory over No.2-ranked Kennedale in Game 3 of their area-championship series.
Hankamer, a Salado sophomore, finished third in the Class 2A State Golf Tournament with back-to-back rounds of 76.
Senior pitcher Casey Frazier yielded just one run and two hits and struck out nine in leading Salado to a 9-1 thrashing of Crawford. Frazier’s complete-game win was the clincher in a first-round postseason series sweep.
“We’re proud that three of the nominees were from Salado,” Graham said.
“I know I had some tough competition for this award,” Oakes said. “This is such an exciting time for my teammates and myself.”
As for her own role on the Lady Eagles, Oakes said, “My job is make the play when the ball is hit to me. If my coach asks me to bunt, I’ll bunt. If he asks me to hit, I must hit. If he asks me to steal, then I’m stealing. It’s my job to do what my coach says to do and to make the plays.”