Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Lady Hornets finish softball season

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The Fightin' Hornets finished 19-17 on the season.

Coach Andrea Holdbrook expressed that the ladies’ finish against Burnet was hard-fought, with an 11-7 loss in game one, a 5-4 victory in game two, and an uphill battle that resulted in the conclusion of the season in a 17-4 loss for game three.

“This was our first winning season in several years, and the game two win against Burnet was our first playoff win in a series since I've been at Gatesville,” Holdbrook said.

The team is led by eight juniors, which include Madisyn Birnel, Grace Carothers, Kallie Featherston, Kinlee Gardner, Raylee Glover, Madison Hester, Emilie Moore, and Anna Owens.

“This season's group was different from any other group I have had in all my 15 years of coaching,” Holdbrook said. She expressed that this group had no seniors on the roster, and a majority of them were returning from last year's team.

“We aren't breaking records yet or even winning district championships, but each season we continue to improve in just about every statistical category.”

End of season stats for the Lady Hornets include:

Raylee Glover, 36 GP, 117 PA, 104 AB, 0.413 AVG, 43 H, 6 HR, 40 R. Kinlee Gardner, 36 GP, 115 PA, 102 AB, 0.402 AVG, 41 H, 4 HR, 40 R. Journey Garrett, 35 GP, 99 PA, 86 AB, 0.384 AVG, 33 H, 1 HR, 26 R. Madison Hester, 15 GP, 51 PA, 46 AB, 0.37 AVG, 17 H, 13 R. Megan Mehaffey, 36 GP, 110 PA, 97 AB, 0.361 AVG, 35 H, 2 HR, 30 R. Madisyn Birnel, 35 GP, 80 PA, 68 AB, 0.324 AVG, 22 H, 1 HR, 20 R. Emma Raby, 34 GP, 91 PA, 74 AB, 0.311 AVG, 23 H, 1 HR, 20 R. Brilee Ford, 36 GP, 93 PA, 69 AB, 0.29 AVG, 20 H, 1 HR, 25 R. Grace Carothers, 36 GP, 96 PA, 76 AB, 0.25 AVG, 19 H, 22 R. Kallie Featherston, 29 GP, 69 PA, 58 AB, 0.241 AVG, 14 H, 4 HR, 9 R. Haley Wilson, 13 GP, 11 PA, 5 AB, 0.2 AVG, 1 H, 7 R. Anna Owens, 6 GP, 7 PA, 5 AB, 0.2 AVG, 1 H, 1 R. Ibet Carmona, 15 GP, 16 PA, 14 AB, 0.143 AVG, 2 H, 4 R. Rosa Castillo, 6 GP, 7 PA, 7 AB, 2 R. Emilie Moore, 15 GP, 5 PA, 14 R.

Holdbrook explained that, early on during the season, a few of the ladies obtained injuries and illnesses that kept key players off the field for a significant portion of time, but it provided an opportunity for several players to try new positions and play in some big games.

“These players stepped up this season by assuming the role that seniors usually take, but they had their own way of navigating the leadership duties,” Holdbrook said. “It's exciting to have them and the rest of the team returning in 2025.”

“Our players are making a name for themselves in the softball world, earning college scholarships for their futures and putting in the work it takes to compete with State-Ranked opponents such as Crawford, Salado, and Franklin,” Holdbrook said. “A top five finish this season in the Gold Bracket at the Franklin Tournament and a 5-1 finish in the Harker Heights Tournament against 5A and 6A opponents means that our kids can play with anyone, and they are prepared to fight hard in district.”

“The future is bright for the Hornets,” Holdbrook said.