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|Monterey pair lead team|
The hardest thing about winning a championship is repeating.
Monterey High's softball team did not win a championship last year, but they became the first Monterey softball team to reach the state tournament, where the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals are held.
Getting back to that coveted spot can be just as difficult as winning it all. Especially when you face the defending state champion in the second round of the playoffs.
Monterey High lost to Oak Hill 2-0 at Oak Hill to end its season at 15-13. Oak Hill lost to state champion Anacoco 1-0 in the state semifinals.
Monterey split with Oak Hill during the regular season, winning 3-0 at Oak Hill before losing 3-2 in extra innings in Monterey.
Coming up short was especially bittersweet for Monterey pitcher/shortstop Ellen Bairnsfather, who finished up an outstanding career this season.
Bairnsfather who signed a softball scholarship with LSU-Alexandria, batted .366, scored 26 runs, totaled five home runs and stole 24 bases.
Bairnsfather had her first over the fence home run at the Menard Tournament in Menard this year.
"That was a big thrill," she said. "That was the day after my birthday so they told me that was my birthday present."
She also went 6-6 on the mound, finishing with a 1.18 earned run average, striking out 83 and walking 24.
"I wanted to make to State my senior year, but we still had an outstanding year. That was the first time I have ever been part of a team that won the district championship. I really wanted to bond with this team because it was my last year of high school and it was probably the closest group I've been a part of at Monterey."
Bairnsfather actually finished up her high school career at the Louisiana Class B State Track Meet Saturday at LSU, placing seventh in the 100-meter dash.
"When I crossed the finish line I took a deep breath," she said. "When I was walking away it kind of hit me then."
Bairnsfather is expected to play in the outfield at LSU-A.
"I'm excited about going to the next level, but also a bit nervous," she said. "But I am ready to move on."
Lady Wolf coach Hazel Brallier is the Parish Coach of the Year for the fourth straight year. She shared the Coach-Player honor with Bairnsfather in 2009 and last year.
"We were disappointed not to make State again, but it was still a good year," Brallier said. "These girls played and practiced hard and always gave a great effort. We're looking forward to starting back up next year."
The All-Parish pitchers are Monterey junior Paige Bryan and Vidalia junior Laura Perrilloux.
Bryan was 5-7 for the Lady Wolves with a 1.11 ERA. She struck out 35 and walked 17. Bryan also batted .299.
Perrilloux was 11-11 with one save. She struck out 67, while walking 27 with an earned run average of 4.30. She also hit.323 on the season.
The catcher is Vidalia senior Kennedy Beard.
Beard led the Lady VIkings with a .495 batting average. She had two home runs and batted in 22 runs, scoring 39.
At first base is Vidalia freshman Taylor Rodgers batted .368 with 18 RBI
Rodgers was also 4-1 as a pitcher with three saves. She had an earned run average of 4.32.
At second base is Vidalia Katlyn Thornton, who hit .337 with one home run.
Monterey's Karlee Woodruff is at shortstop.
Woodruff led the Lady Wolves in hitting at .455 with two home runs, scoring 13 runs and batting in 23.
Holding down third base is Vidalia Kelsee Partridge, who hit .304 with a home run, driving in 18 runs.
The outfield consists of Vidalia's Emily Meyers, Monterey's Bailey New and Vidalia's Katelin Temple.
Meyers batted .303 with 17 RBI, while Temple hit .294, scoring 14 runs. New hit .282 with eight RBI..
The designated hitter is Monterey's Jodee Duncan. Duncan hit 265 with five doubles.
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