GATESVILLE — Often in softball, a player’s biggest contribution doesn’t come at the plate or on the mound.
That was certainly the case for Gatesville senior Jaycee Summers, whose sacrificial play out in left field often impacted games more than anything she could have done at the plate.
It was that all-out effort, and a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage, that earned Summers recognition as the District 19-3A Defensive Most Valuable Player when the all-district list was released last week.
“She was a great leader, she would sacrifice her body for an out, (including) catching seven balls on dives for the season,” said Gatesville softball coach Crystal O’Brien. “She really just ran down balls that we thought were doubles and triples. Even down the baseline, she was willing to dive head-first, she could do it all.”
Along with registering 14 of her 16 put-outs in district play, Summers contributed with a .417 batting average in 19-3A play for the Hornets (15-11).
Despite a disappointing 3-7 run through district, Summers was just one of five Hornets to earn first-team all-district recognition, including the other two members of the Gatesville outfield.
“Almost every team we played commented on how well our outfield played and how fast they were, they’re all aggressive, they really are,” O’Brien said. “I think they kept us in the game a lot of the times.”
Junior center fielder Megan Chambers paced Gatesville at the plate with a team-high 16 hits and a .457 batting average in district play, while fellow first-team junior Ashley Cook led the way on the base paths with a team-high 12 stolen bases, a .543 on-base percentage and .448 batting average and 10 runs.
Joining them on the first team were junior shortstop Lauren Nichols, who had a .455 average and 15 hits in district, and second baseman Paige Chambers, who knocked in a team-high 12 RBIs on 13 hits and a .406 average batting.
Senior first baseman Allison Aslin was a second-team selection along with freshman catcher Blaine McGhee, while Evan Edmiston, Riley Latham, and Sarah Ridling were honorable mentions.
Waco Robinson’s Morgan Van Meter and China Spring’s Mollie Kinlaw split 19-3A MVP honors while the Lady Rockets’ Kelly Baker was named Offensive MVP and Keona Dawkins of Waco Connally got Newcomer of the Year.