Copperas Cove Softball

Copperas Cove’s Carlee Duran throws pitches against Ellison on March 11 at Ellison. With two games left in the season, the Lady Dawgs need only another victory or Harker Heights loss to return to the playoffs.

Last week, Carlee Duran dominated her competition in person. This week, she did so online.

In just the second District 8-5A game of the year, the Copperas Cove pitcher was in midseason form, striking out four batters en route to a perfect game against Shoemaker. Duran also chipped in offensively, going 3 for 3 at the plate with a pair of RBIs as the Lady Bulldawgs cruised to a 17-0 run-rule victory.

Then, she continued her performance in the polls, earning 70 percent of the vote to be named Player of the Week.

For Copperas Cove first-year head coach Bryan Waller, it was the most impressive performance he has seen from Duran since taking over the position in June.

“That was her most in sync showing yet,” he said. “She was making her pitches, hitting her spots, and either their bats were missing them or they were hitting them right where they were supposed to go.”

Duran never encountered a full count or delivered a third ball, retiring all 12 batters she faced and striking out four of five during a span bridging the second and third innings. At the plate, she hit three singles, recording RBIs in the first and third innings before going on to receive 189 of the 269 total votes cast.

“I got something different every time,” Duran said. “I was just trying to be patient. … I was just looking for my pitch.”

Copperas Cove (11-10, 3-2) resumes district play Tuesday at home against Temple.

Duran’s performance beat out several other notable showings, including one by a fellow Copperas Cove athlete.

Lady Bulldawgs senior bowler Stephani Brown finished second in the polls after rolling a 207 average to win the Region V Girls Singles Bowling championship, beating second-place by 66 total pins during the five-game event. The victory propels Brown into the upcoming state tournament in San Antonio.

Finishing third in the voting was Harker Heights soccer player Gracie Grimm. The freshman continued a dazzling debut last week by recording her second hat trick of the season in a critical district win against Ellison. She followed up the outburst with two goals in a victory at Shoemaker.

Shoemaker powerlifter Alec Webster and Belton right fielder Skylar Stewart rounded out the nominees.

Webster lifted a total of 950 pounds to win the Region 2, Division I championship in the 123-pound weight class at Georgetown, securing a spot in the Texas High School Powerlifting Association’s state meet on March 22 at Abilene.

Stewart produced a grand slam home run and drove in a total of six runs on two hits during the Lady Tigers’ 13-0 victory at Ellison.

Contact Clay Whittington at

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