Avery Drake is the district’s best player, and she still has time to improve.
Belton’s standout shortstop already accomplished a lot in her career. As a freshman, Drake was named all-district newcomer of the year after helping the Lady Tigers reach the regional semifinals.
Last season, she landed on the all-district first team and was an all-state selection.
Now, in her junior season, Drake cemented herself as the area’s elite player.
En route to helping Belton earn the District 8-6A championship, Drake dominated the competition, producing 33 hits, 20 RBIs, 35 runs and 29 stolen bases with a .673 batting average, and defensively, she posted a .895 fielding percentage.
While Drake still has another season left in her high school career, she is not the only reason the Lady Tigers are poised for another impressive campaign in 2019.
Belton junior first baseman Caleigh Robinson also received a superlative, being named offensive player of the year after finishing the 14-game district schedule with a .674 batting average to go with 29 hits, including four home runs. Additionally, Robinson had 25 RBIs, 26 runs, and six stolen bases.
The pair was joined by nine teammates on the all-district list with seven garnering first-team recognition.
Belton junior pitcher Baylee Fulps and senior catcher Bethany Edwards were each placed on the first team, and they were joined by sophomore third baseman Madison Bartlett, senior second baseman Mackenzie Bartlett, freshman outfielder Paige Nunes, junior centerfielder Madison Ward and junior designated player Isabelle Gutierrez.
Taylor Tubbs, a junior pitcher, and freshman right fielder Harley Stanton were each named to the second team for Belton.
Shoemaker freshman pitcher Maddie Martinez and San Angelo Central freshman pitcher split the newcomer of the year award, and Waco Midway junior pitcher/shortstop Jazmine Gendorf rounded out the superlative recipients, being named defensive player of the year.
Like Belton, Copperas Cove had a strong showing, earning a pair of first-team selections and six second-team selections.
Lady Bulldawgs junior shortstop Jayda Carter and Kristen Wasiak, a junior center fielder, landed on the first team, while teammates Brooke Schmidt, a freshman pitcher/shortstop, freshman infielder Alina Salazar, senior second baseman Addie Cook, outfielders Nazhoni Wyss, a junior, and McKenna Miller, a senior, and junior utility player Maria Hanna were placed on the second team for Copperas Cove.
Harker Heights and Shoemaker each had a pair of first- and second-team selections.
Sophomore third baseman Ja’lynn Swiney and sophomore Lindsey Ratcliffe, a left fielder/shortstop, landed on the first team for the Lady Knights, while teammates Marissa Stillwell, a freshman shortstop/catcher, and sophomore left fielder Madelyn Garrison were placed on the second team.
For the Lady Grey Wolves, senior shortstop Makayla Scoggin and junior center fielder Makai Ellerbe were named to the first team, and junior catcher Megan Wilson and sophomore left fielder Lynda Nena were named to the second team.
Destiny Allen, a senior pitcher/right fielder, was Killeen’s lone first-team selection, but teammates Avalyn James, a junior first baseman/pitcher, and senior right fielder/designated player Allison Fox were each placed on the second team.
Ellison produced a pair of second-team players in freshman infielder Kadazjah Trimble and sophomore outfielder Andrea Lopez.
8-6A ALL-DISTRICT SOFTBALL
- MVP: Avery Drake, Belton, Jr.
- Co-Newcomers of the Year: Maddie Martinez, Shoemaker, Fr.; Ashton McMillan, San Angelo Central, Fr.
- Defensive Player of the Year: Jazmine Gendorf, Waco Midway, Jr.
- Offensive Player of the Year: Caleigh Robinson, Belton, Jr.
- Pitchers: Madison Cotton, Belton, Jr.; Baylee Fulps, Central, Fr.
- Catchers: Sophie Wideman, Midway, Sr.; Bethany Edwards, Belton, Sr.
- Infielders: Madison Bartlett, Belton, So.; Mackenzie Bartlett, Belton, Sr.; Ja’lynn Swiney, Harker Heights, So.; Sydnie Gilbert, Central, Sr.; Jayda Carter, Copperas Cove, Jr.; Kadyn Trochim, Midway, Jr.; Sammie Martinez, Midway, Jr.; Makayla Scoggin, Shoemaker, Sr.
- Outfielders: Paige Nunes, Belton, Fr.; Madison Ward, Belton, Jr.; Kristen Wasiak, Copperas Cove, Jr.; Destiny Allen, Killeen, Sr.; Makai Ellerbe, Shoemaker, Jr.; Kaleigh Ochinang, Central, Jr.; Lindsey Ratcliffe, Harker Heights, So.
- Designated Player: Isabelle Gutierrez, Belton, Jr.
- Utility Player: Camryn Collier, Midway, Jr.
- Pitchers: Taylor Tubbs, Belton, Jr.; Brooke Schmidt, Copperas Cove, Fr.; Tatum Seith, Midway, So.
- Catchers: Marissa Stillwell, Harker Heights, Fr.; Alina Salazar, Copperas Cove, Fr.; Megan Wilson, Shoemaker, Jr.
- Infielders: Kadazjah Trimble, Ellison, Fr.; Avalyn James, Killeen, Jr.; Addie Cook, Copperas Cove, Sr.; Jenna Rowatt, Midway, Fr.; Caitlyn Dobbs, Midway, Jr.; Maddie Stewart, Central, Sr.; Emily Sanchez, Central, So.
- Outfielders: Harley Staton, Belton, Fr.; Madelyn Garrison, Harker Heights, So.; Andrea Lopez, Ellison, So.; Nazhoni Wyss, Copperas Cove, Jr.; McKenna Miller, Copperas Cove, Sr.; Lynda Nena, Shoemaker, So.; Allison Fox, Killeen, Sr.
- Designated Player: Faith Fernandez, Midway, Jr.
- Utility Player: Maria Hanna, Copperas Cove, Jr.