Even by lofty Belton standards, the Lady Tigers’ 2019 softball season was remarkable. Numerous school records for the perennial power were smashed and the team won a program-record 33 games.
Perhaps that’s why the All-District 12-6A Softball Team list of superlatives reads like a Lady Tiger lineup card.
Sophomore catcher Paige Nunes was named MVP. Pitchers Madison Cotton, Taylor Tubbs and Hannah Kelley shared Defensive Player of the Year honors, first baseman Caleigh Robinson was the Offensive Player of the Year, and Matt Blackburn was named Coach of the Year.
The only top honor Belton didn’t capture was Newcomer of the Year. That went to Waco freshman catcher Haley Rodriguez.
The Lady Tigers (33-7) won two more games than any other softball team in Belton history. They were unbeaten in a nine-team league — the largest a Lady Tiger softball team has ever been a member of. They scored 407 runs, breaking the old mark of 380. They clubbed 53 homers, a whopping 21 more than the previous standard.
Robinson drove in 63 runs, a single-season record. She was the 8-6A Offensive Player of the Year last season and caps her prep career as a four-time all-district first-teamer.
Infielder Maddison Parker, one of six other Belton players on the first team, belted a single-season record 14 homers. Infielder Avery Drake, the lone unanimous first-team pick and last year’s 8-6A MVP, set the single-season steals record with 56. Miranda Davila, a third Lady Tiger infielder on the first team, set a record with 18 sacrifice bunts.
Other Belton players on the first team were senior outfielders Madison Sniggs and Madison Ward and senior designated player Isabelle Gutierrez, who earned the same honor last season.
The good news for Belton’s 12-6A opponents is that seven of those players are seniors. But the Lady Tigers have a solid foundation for 2020 with Kelley, Davila, Parker and Nunes, not to mention second-team outfielders Payton Cook and Harley Staton.
Shoemaker sophomore Madalyne Martinez and senior Deborah Hamilton also made the first team. Their contributions helped the Lady Grey Wolves snap a 10-year playoff drought.
Copperas Cove placed three on the first team: senior outfielder Kristen Wasiak, sophomore catcher Alina Salazar and junior infielder Madalyn Scribner.
Harker Heights junior infielder Ja’Lynn Swiney is on the first team for the third straight season.
Killeen High senior Avalyn James was selected as first-team utility player.
District runner-up Waco Midway placed six on the first team. Third-place Temple had three players selected.
ALL-DISTRICT 12-6A TEAM
- MVP—Paige Nunes, so., catcher, Belton.
- Newcomer of the Year—Haley Rodriguez, fr., catcher, Waco.
- Defensive Players of the Year—Madison Cotton, sr., pitcher, Belton; Taylor Tubbs, sr., pitcher, Belton; Hanah Kelley, jr., pitcher, Belton.
- Offensive Player of the Year—Caleigh Robinson, sr., first baseman, Belton.
- Coach of the Year—Matt Blackburn, Belton.
- Pitchers—Jasmine Gendorf, sr., Waco Midway; Madalyne Martinez, so., Shoemaker.
- Catcher—Alina Salazar, so., Copperas Cove.
- Infield—Miranda Davila, jr., Belton; Avery Drake (u), sr., Belton; Maddison Parker, jr., Belton; Ja’Lynn Swiney, jr., Harker Heights; Bryanna Salas, jr., Temple; Jaylin Kindles, sr., Temple; Madalyn Scribner, jr., Copperas Cove; Sammi Martinez, sr., Midway; KK Trochim, sr., Midway; Faith Fernandez, sr., Midway.
- Outfield—Madison Sniggs, sr., Belton; Madison Ward, sr., Belton; Alexis Lewis, sr., Temple; Deborah Hamilton, sr., Shoemaker; Kristen Wasiak, sr., Copperas Cove; Camryn Collier, sr., Midway; Tatum Seith, jr., Midway.
- Designated Player—Isabelle Gutierrez, sr., Belton.
- Utility Player—Avalyn James, sr., Killeen.
- Pitchers—Brooke Schmidt, so., Copperas Cove; Evan Fuller, fr., Harker Heights; Hayli Hesse, jr., Temple.
- Catchers—Haley Brown, sr., Harker Heights; Maria Hanna, sr., Copperas Cove.
- Infield—Tamera Johnson, sr., Shoemaker; Madelyn Morua, fr., Shoemaker; Sammy Gutierrez, so., Ellison; Anyssa Chelby, jr., Ellison; Kaycee McDowell, jr., Harker Heights; Mariah Mason, jr., Waco; Madison Wacker, jr., Temple; Alena Salazar, fr., Temple; Jayda Carter, sr., Copperas Cove.
- Outfield—Payton Cook, jr., Belton; Harley Staton, so., Belton; Divinity Merrick, sr., Harker Heights; Christianna Hernandez, sr., Waco; McKenley Clark, so., Midway; Makenna Holland, sr., Temple; Emma Wasiak, fr., Copperas Cove.
- Designated Player—Ashley Treese, jr., Killeen.
- Utility Players—Kadazjah Trimble, so., Ellison; Tayler Guerra, sr., Temple; Nazhoni Wyss, sr., Copperas Cove.