By Angel Verdejo
Killeen Daily Herald
West won the District 7-3A softball title, which included a pair of wins over Gatesville on the way to an undefeated district record.
The Hornets also fell to West in the region quarterfinals - the Lady Trojans were the state runner-up.
But when it came to 7-3A's top award - district most valuable player - West didn't get the edge over Gatesville.
Instead they shared it. Senior s Emily Leib and Brianna Pavlas were chosen co-MVPs for an ultra-competitive district that saw a state-tournament representative in each of the last two years. Gatesville knocked off West in the region quarterfinals last season on the way to the state semifinals.
Even China Spring, the district's runner-up the last two seasons, reached the region quarterfinals both years.
Leib posted a 25-9 record to go with 322 strikeouts, breaking her own record from 2009. She finished her career as Gatesville's all-time strikeout leader, finishing with 837.
"She deserves it," Gatesville head coach Michelle Edwards said of Leib. "She has spent four years in the seat for this program and I just think of what she's brought to the district - her competitive drive - has been good for the district."
The Hornets also picked up a second superlative honor with Megan Chambers named Outstanding Freshman. The left fielder hit leadoff for Gatesville, hit. 439 with eight doubles and was second on the team in runs (24).
"She had to fill some big shoes that we had last year when she got in that leadoff spot," Edwards said. "But she came through in some really big games, was clutch for us and found ways to get on base and was pretty solid in the outfield."
West's Guyla Smith was named Coach of the Year, while Lady Trojans Ashley Anz and Brooke Keel took home Pitcher of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year, respectively. Defensive Player of the Year went to China Spring's Stephanie Roberts, while Hali Flores of Hillsboro was named Outstanding Sophomore.
Seven other Hornets earned selections to both the 7-3A first and seconds teams. First-teamers included a pair of seniors in shortstop Shelby Watson and center fielder Cassie Morphet, along with sophomore third baseman Skye Truss and freshman designated hitter Paige Chambers.
Catcher Amber Colson, first baseman Allison Aslin and second baseman Lauren Nichols were Gatesville's second-team picks.