The Williamson Daily News has made their selections for the 2019 All-Area Softball Team and local standouts Kailee Rash and Autumn Hall were named as Co-Captains of the talented squad.
The two hurlers both led their teams to impressive 20 win seasons while also piling up gaudy individual numbers both in the circle and at the plate.
Rash has been the starting pitcher for the Lady Pirates and coach Ryan Chapman's for the last four seasons and leaves Belfry as arguably one of the top softball players in the history of the program as she helped lead them to a 23-8 record in 2019.
She pitched in 30 games, 29 starts, for the Lady Pirates her senior year and finished with a 22-7 record to go with a nice 2.52 ERA. She struck out 194 batters in 186 innings pitched. She accounted for all but one of the wins for Belfry in 2019.
At the plate Rash served as the No. 3 hitter for coach Ryan Chapman and delivered more times than not as she finished the 2019 season with a .344 batting average and led the team in RBIs by a large margin with 44.
Rash, an Ohio Valley University commit, was also tops on the team in extra base-hits with 17 as she finished with 14 doubles, one triple, and two home runs.
She finished 2-0 head-to-head against Hall in 2019 with Belfry beating Tug Valley 6-2 on April 1 and 4-0 on April 9. She was named to the All 15th Region Team at seasons end.
Hall jumped on the scene in a big way this year for Tug Valley as she led the Lady Panthers to the most wins in school history with a 23-13 final record and a berth in the sectional championship game.
She put up "video game" like numbers in 2019 both at the plate and in the circle. She finished with an 18-12 record in 29 starts and had a minuscule 1.98 ERA.
She struck out 327 batters in only 190 innings pitched including 17 games with double-digit strikeouts, seven games with 15 or more Ks and 21 strikeouts in a win on March 23 against East Ridge. She averaged just over 12 strikeouts per seven innings pitched.
At the plate Hall was just as dangerous as she hit .477 on the year from her leadoff position in the lineup, while smacking 14 doubles, four triples, three home runs, 36 RBIs, 19 stolen bases and 40 runs scored.
She led her team in every offensive category, except for home runs, as she was named First Team All-State by the West Virginia Sportswriters Association.
Rash and Hall were joined on the 2019 WDN All-Area Softball Team by Ariel Mounts, Kaelyn Stafford, Emily Deaton, Kylea Stanley, and Linzee Phillips from Belfry, Kaitlyn Copley, Emily Hatfield, Courtney Wellman, and Alyssa Newsome from Tug Valley, Danielle Prater from Phelps and Kaleigh Baisden from Mingo Central.
Here is a capsule look at the rest of the WDN All-Area selections in no particular order:
Emily Hatfield: The freshman catcher formed what is arguably the top young battery in class A in West Virginia this past season for first year coach Rocky Hall. She led the team in home runs as she clubbed seven long balls on the year while also slashing seven doubles, and one triple.
Hatfield was second on the team in RBIs with 32 and runs scored with 37. When not behind the plate she would slide over to shortstop where she would get to display her above average arm.
Emily Deaton: The speedy centerfielder will go down as arguable one of the best hitters in the history of Belfry High School as she just finished her third straight season with a batting average above .500. She had maybe her best senior her senior year as she finished with a .556 batting average.
Deaton's above-average speed kept the defense on their heels as she could lay down a bunt for a hit at any time or slash a ball over the defenders heads. She led the team with 48 runs scored in 2019 and also swiped 17 bags.
Danielle Prater: The junior has continued to show why she is considered one of the top female athletes in the entire 15th Region as she posted another monster year for the Phelps Lady Hornets. She finished the season with a batting average of .596 as she slashed 40 base hits in 67 at bats. Once on base, she used her wheels to steal 60 bases in 63 attempts and scored 28 runs.
Kaelyn Stafford: Stafford flourished her senior season in the No. 8 spot for coach Ryan Chapman as she finished the season with the second highest batting average on the team at as she hit at a .440 clip. She was third on the team in RBIs with 26 and struck out only eight times all year long which was the lowest number by any regular player on the entire roster. She also had eight doubles and two home runs. She started every game at third base this past season.
Courtney Wellman: The junior had her best season of her career this past season for the Lady Panthers as she consistently came up with big hits in key situations. Wellman finished the season hitting .342 and was third on the team with 30 RBIs while also smacking seven doubles and a triple. She also became a valuable piece defensively for coach Hall as she became the backup catcher in 2019 when she wasn't at her regular position of third base.
Ariel Mounts: The senior shortstop has been a multi-year starter for the Lady Pirates and has always been one of the top defensive shortstops in the 15th Region. After a slow start at the plate in 2019, she came alive late in the year to finish with a batting average of .307. She led the team in triples with five on the year while also recording three doubles, one home run, 23 RBIs, and 21 runs scored.
Kaleigh Baisden: The senior utility player was a multi-year starter for the Lady Miners since she transferred over from Tug Valley. She was the top pitcher this past season for Mingo Central and played shortstop when she wasn't in the circle. Baisden clubbed the only home run of the season for coach Patrick Cline's squad last season in a loss at sectional foe Logan.
Kylea Stanley: The senior utility player transferred back to Belfry this year after being the starting shortstop for Pike Central the past two seasons. She mainly played left-field this season for the Lady Pirates and displayed above-average range and a strong arm. The Ohio Valley commit hit .293 at the plate in 2019 with seven doubles, two triples, 15 RBIs, and 22 runs scored.
Kaitlyn Copley: Copley was one of the most consistent players all season long for the Lady Panthers both at the plate and in the field. She hit in the middle of the lineup all season long for coach Rocky Hall finishing with a .340 batting average to go with seven doubles, 24 RBIs, and 26 runs scored. She had an on base percentage of .405.
Linzee Phillips: The speedy middle-infielder had a solid freshman season for the Lady Pirates despite playing much of the year with a hand injury after diving into a base. She batted .354 for coach Ryan Chapman and knocked in 19 runs while scoring 34 runs of her own. She finished with three doubles, one triple and 12 stolen bases while only striking out nine times all year long and drawing 10 walks. She is the shortstop of the future at BHS.
Alyssa Newsome: The sophomore made the transition from the infield to the outfield this season and became one of the top defensive outfielders in the area. She uses her above average speed to chase down extra base-hits in the gaps while also getting a good jump coming in on the shallow bloopers. She struggled a bit at the plate in 2019 hitting only .173 but led the team in walks with 22 to raise her on base percentage to .331. She scored 31 runs in 2019 and also was tied for the team lead in stolen bases with 19.
Paula Dotson: The senior slugger continued to do what she has done her entire career for coach Ryan Chapman and that is produce big hits in the middle of the Lady Pirate lineup. The first baseman hit .298 in 2019 nut was second on the team in RBIs with 29. She slashed four doubles, one triple, and two home runs with her above average power. She was also a multi-year starter at BHS.
2019 WDN All-Area Softball Team
P-Kailee Rash-Sr.-Belfry (Co-Captain)
P-Autumn Hall-Fr.-TVHS (Co-Captain)
Special Honorable Mention: Abby Spence, Caylee Akers, Hannah Hopkins, Cassidy Griffey, Brooklyn Farley (Tug Valley), Brianna Tello, Natalie Fite (Belfry), Bella Grace, Zoe Evans, Carrie Mcguire (Mingo Central), Kacie Dotson, Dailey Prater, Madison Prater (Phelps).
Jarrrid McCormick is a sports reporter for the Williamson Daily News. He can be reached by email at jmccormick@HDMediaLLC.com.