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|Monterey pair lead All-Parish softball team|
Usually going without a win in district is not a sign of a good season.
But when you compete in District 3B where one team advanced to the semfinals, while the other district team was beat out in the quarterfinals.
"I was pleased with what the girls accomplished," said Monterey head coach Hazel Brallier, who along with freshman Ellen Bairnsfather represents their school as the 2009 All-Parish Softball Coach and Player of the Year. "We just had the misfortune of being in a tough district. I think with Forest and their pitcher (Jessi Paris), it was a more of a mental thing."
Despite going 0-4 in district, Monterey's Lady Wolves earned a No. 22 seed in the Class B playoffs, where they lost to No. 5 Negreet 5-0 in the first round.
Negreet was beaten by Kilbourne, which went 2-2 in District 3B, losing twice to Forest, which earned the No. 1 seed in the state, but lost to Houma Christian 4-2 in the finals.
Take away the four district losses and the Lady Wolves went 11-9, earning wins over the likes of Pickering, Block, Vidalia, Harrisonburg and Franklin County.
"We were excited about the win over Harrisonburg because they are our big rival and we've always playd them close," Brallier said.
Monterey is moving from District 3B to District 6B the next two years.
"We're going right into another tough district," Brallier said. "Oak Hill and Glenmora. Oak Hill reached the finals and Glenmora made it to the quarterfinals. But we should have everybody back."
That includes Bairnsfather, who hit .348 with a .424 slugging percentage. She had an on-base percentage of .513 and an .867 fielding average.
"I thought it was a pretty good year," Bairnsfather said. "We're still young, so we're looking forward even more to next season."
Bairnsfather is the lead-off hitter and switched from the right side of the plate to the left side to take advantage of her spped. She finished fifth in the Class B 400-meters at the state track meet in a time of 1:04.71.
"It was an adjustment at first, but it's just a matter of keeping my eye on the ball and not turning my head," Bairnsfather said. "I think it has helped me become a better hitter."
Bairnsfather also had 85 strikeouts on the mound, having to pitch more games because of a shoulder injury to Holli Clay.
"I did not pitch much at all the year before, so it was a big adjustment," she said. "I think I am getting better pitching and it helps having Taylor Morace back there because we've been playing together for a long time and I just feel real comfortable throwing to her. Pitching has helped me at the plate because I've picked up a few things such as some pitchers take a longer time to pitch when they are throwing a change-up."
But Bairnsfather definitely enjoys playing shortstop more.
"A lot of balls are hit there and I like being in the middle of the action," she said. "Something always seems to be happening when you are at that position."
Bairnsfather said the team should be more competitive in the new district.
"We beat some of the teams this year that will be in our district next year," she said. "I believe we can do well. We just have to stay healthy and stay together."
Clay was also named to the team as a pitcher after hitting .276 on the season.
Huntington senior Julie Moak pitched rounds out the pitching staff, going 5-10 with 70 strikeouts.
The catcher is Monterey sophomore Taylor Morace, who caught both pitchers and hit close to .300.
Lady Hound senior Emilee Johns batted .270, while Huntington senior Julia Corbett led the team with a .371 average.
The all-parish infield consists of Monterey seventh-grader Paige Bryan, who batted .270 with a .444 slugging percentage and had a .903 field percentage.
Lady Viking senior Kaitlyn Wilson hit .377, while Vidalia juior Eryn Secrest led the Lady Vikings with a .378 average.
Vidalia junior Kassi Randall hit .291.
In the outfield are Monterey's Casey White, a junior who hit .300 with a .405 slugging percentage and sophomore teammate Logan Dale, who batted .276. Vidalia senior Erica Brown hit close to .300 and was a key in the outfield for the Lady Vikings.
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