We’ve seen quite a few really good high school softball teams in the area the last few years, and now those standout players are having a moment at the next stage.
Three local players in particular had great seasons on the diamond.
Patrick County graduate Savannah Moorefield, who helped the Cougars to the VHSL Class 3 state semifinals in 2017, is now a sophomore outfielder at Lenoir Rhyne University in Hickory, North Carolina. This season, she was named Second Team All-South Atlantic Conference after leading the conference in runs scored. Moorefield scored 52 runs this season, five more than anyone else in the conference, and 19 more than any of her Bears teammates. The speedster also led the team with 147 at bats, three triples, a .605 slugging percentage, 13 stolen bases, and 23 walks. She was second on the team with a .381 batting average, 56 hits, and a .459 on base percentage, and was third on the team with seven home runs.
The bears went 26-19 as a team this season.
Bassett graduate Taylor Mabry was named an All-American for the season straight season, making the third team as a infielder this year at the University of Lynchburg. Mabry, a senior, was also named First Team All-Atlantic Region, First Team All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference, and was named to the ODAC All-Tournament team. In 52 games, the former Bengal was second in the ODAC with 15 home runs, and third in the ODAC with 42 RBIs.
Mabry led the Hornet with 32 walks, a .385 batting average, and a .455 on-base percentage this season, was second on the team with 60 hits, and third on the team with 37 runs scored. In 156 at bats, she struck out just 10 times.
Lynchburg finished the season 37-15, winning the NCAA Tournament Virginia Beach Region, and losing in the tournament Super Regional.
Mabry’s former Bassett teammate, 2017 graduate Kendall Varner was also named First Team All-ODAC at Emory & Henry this season, and was ODAC Player of the Week on April 15th. Varner was third in the ODAC with 12 home runs this season, tops among her Wasps teammates. As a sophomore, she also led E&H this season with 42 runs scored, three triples, 20 walks, a .493 on-base percentage, and an .815 slugging percentage. She was second on the team with 32 RBIs, a .395 batting average, 49 hits, and 10 doubles, and was third on the team with 17 stolen bases.
The Wasps finished second in the ODAC regular season, and ended the season with a 25-18 record.
The three softball players weren’t the only local graduates to have standout seasons in college this year. While we’ve previously looked at how local football and basketball players are doing at the next level, here’s a look at how other female athletes are doing at four-year colleges.
(Editor’s note: The Bulletin will run a second part of this series tomorrow focusing on male athletes at four-year colleges. This list is not exhaustive.)
- Kailynn Parks (Bassett/Davis & Elkins) – In her freshman season, Parks had 13 starts for Davis & Elkins College in West Virginia, hitting .317 on the year as a infielder for the Senators. Parks had 13 hits, scored 11 runs, and had seven RBIs, with two doubles and five stolen bases. The Senators were 20-30 as a team this season.
- Cassidy Largen (Patrick County High School/Lees-McRae College) – As a sophomore at Lees-McRae l in Banner Elk, North Carolina, Largen made 12 appearances in the pitching circle, including eight starts, finishing the year with a 5-2 record. Largen threw two complete games, allowed 41 runs, 31 earned, with 33 strikeouts and a 4.02 ERA. The Bobcats went 22-19 this year, winning the Conference Carolinas Championship, and winning their first NCAA tournament game in their first ever appearance.
- Carly Nelson (Bassett High School/Ferrum College) – The freshman utility player appeared in 8 games for the Panthers, with three at bats, one hit, an RBI, and two runs scored. Nelson also had a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. Ferrum finished the season 20-21.
- Brandi Woods (Patrick County/PHCC/Ferrum College) – After transferring from the Patriots to the Panthers this season, Woods, a junior, made 15 appearances, picking up 25 at bats, with three hits, a walk, and .154 on base percentage.
- Jasmine Agee (Magna Vista High School/Ferrum) – As a senior pitcher for the Panthers, Agee made 23 appearances, including 21 starts, and threw 11 complete games. In 122.2 innings pitched, Agee allowed 79 earned runs, and had 34 strike outs and a 4.51 ERA. She finished her two-year career at Ferrum with a 14-17 record, 75 strikeouts, and a 3.85 ERA.
- Makenzie Watts (Patrick County/Va. Wesleyan) – Watts made 29 appearances for the Marlins this season as a freshman. In 33 at bats she had nine hits, including one triple, scored nine runs, and had 6 RBIs. She finished the year with a .273 batting average and a .333 on-base percentage. The Marlins, the 2018 NCAA DIII national champions, finished 2019 with a 42-6 overall and a fourth straight ODAC softball championship.
- Haley Barnes (Bassett/Eastern Mennonite) – A sophomore, Barnes scored one goal and had two assists for the Royals in 10 starts this season. Barnes appeared in all 14 games, and the team finished 6-8 overall.
- Natalie Hidalgo (Carlisle/Roanoke) – A freshman midfielder for the Maroons, Hidalgo scored one goal, and had one assist in 10 appearances this season. Roanoke was 7-6-4 overall.
- Jenifer Silva (Bassett/Averett) – Silva started two games, and appeared in 16, this season as a freshman for the Cougars. She had one assist. The former Bengal also earned USA South Academic All-Conference Honors. Averett was 5-11-1 this season.
- Madison Haynes (BHS/Bridgewater) – Haynes, now a junior at Bridgewater, appeared in all but three games for the Eagles this season, and her .295 overall hitting percentage was sixth best in the ODAC. The former Bengal was third on the team with 166 kills, and led Bridgewater with 57 blocks. The Eagles finished 23-7 this year, reaching the ODAC tournament semifinals.
- Kayla Divers and Kaitlyn Thompson (Magna Vista/Ferrum) – Divers and Thompson left Magna Vista together, and are now roommates at Ferrum, where they’re both freshmen. Divers appeared in 24 games this season, making six starts. She was third on the Panthers with 244 digs, and fourth on the team with 23 aces. Thompson made eight appearances with the Panthers, recording nine kills. The Panthers were 12-15 this season.
- Morgan and Mallory Scott (Bassett/Ferrum) – After Morgan Scott began her tennis career with the Panthers in 2017, her sister Mallory followed her to Ferrum this season. Morgan Scott, now a junior, was the team’s No. 1 in all but one match this season. She finished the year with an 8-6 record in singles, 4-5 in the ODAC, and a 10-8 record in doubles with three different partners.
Mallory Scott, a freshman, was 8-7 this season, 3-5 in conference, and was 3-0 in matches in which she played as the team’s No. 3. In doubles, she was 9-8 with four different partners.
- Deja Witcher (Patrick County/Averett) – Witcher competed in five races as a freshman, and had her best finish at the Hagan Stone Classic on October 5, finishing 33rd with a time of 28.16.38. She was the Cougars’ top finisher at both the USA South Conference Championship and the NCAA Regionals.
- Alex Hornsby (Carlisle/Sewanee) – The former Chiefs’ captain played in all 16 games for the Tigers this season, picking up 15 starts, scoring one goal and two assists. She was also named to the Southern Athletic Association Academic Honor Roll.
- Aleigha Hodges (Carlisle/University of Charleston) – Hodgers was a sophomore with the Golden Eagles this season. She shot an 86 on the final day of the Mountain East Conference tournament, helping the team to a team championship in October.
- April Patterson (Bassett/University of Charleston) – Competing in her junior season, Patterson finished eighth at the Mountain East Conference championship in the 100-meter dash, with a time of 13.48, and ninth in the long jump, with a jump of 15-feet, 11.5-inches.
Cara Cooper is the sports editor of the Martinsville Bulletin. You can reach her at (276)638-8801 ext. 241.