By Alex Byington
Killeen Daily Herald
Despite struggling to start the season, which included losing its first two District 12-5A games, Belton turned its year around thanks to the consistent pitching and hitting of its upperclassmen.
Winners of 10 of their final 12 district games, the Lady Tigers (15-16, 10-4) eventually rose to the No. 3 seed before a first-round playoff loss to Mesquite.
Those responsible for the turnaround were honored on the recently released 12-5A all-district softball list as Belton tied district champion Bryan with the second-most first-team nominations with six, trailing only A&M Consolidated's seven first-teamers.
Leading the way for the Lady Tigers were junior ace Allison Boston, who was one of three first-team pitchers, seniors Madi Moore (infielder) and Victoria Alcozer (outfielder), junior Annie Bridges (outfielder) and sophomore Lauren Ramsey (infielder).
Earning superlative honors was Copperas Cove senior slugger Shabanese Brown, who won the district's Offensive Player of the Year award after leading the area with 11 home runs and a .616 batting average.
Also representing the Lady Bulldawgs on the first team from were senior outfielder Savannah Seybold and freshman designated player Brianna Sinclair.
Bryan took home the Most Valuable Player and Newcomer of the Year honors for senior Ashley Lara and freshman Reagan Boenker, respectively, while Consolidated senior Sarah Allison won Defensive Player of the Year. The Lady Vikings coach Enrique Luna shared co-Coach of the Year honors with A&M Consolidated's Billy Hicks.
Shoemaker, despite finishing near the bottom of the standings a year removed from the playoffs, had three first-team selections led by senior Ashley Shannon's pick at catcher, sophomore Joselyn Pizarro as an infielder and junior Karlye Stapleton as an utility player.
"One of the main things, too, was just her presence on the field because I think the team trusts her and the teams that we've played they've respected her," Shoemaker coach Stacey Halim said of Shannon. "Just even having her behind the plate, especially with our pitching situation this year, it really helped."
Harker Heights had two first-team nods at infielders from senior Veronica Espinosa and sophomore Ashlyn Osborne.
Contact Alex Byington at email@example.com or (254) 501-7566.