First-year Tolar softball coach Christie Collie inherited a young team with lots of potential.
Just ask fellow coaches in District 10-2A.
Nine Lady Rattlers were named to the All-10-2A Team by the league’s coaches.
Eight of those honored are underclassmen. The lone senior on the Lady Rattlers this season was Bailey Holt, an honorable mention choice.
Topping the list of Tolar honors is sophomore Staci Ashley as the 10-2A Player of the Year. On the pitching mound she was 9-7, garnering more than half of the Lady Rattlers’ victories in a 14-13 season.
But Ashley was also a force at the plate, batting .487 with 10 runs batted in and collecting 14 walks.
Both Tolar pitchers received all-district honors. Sophomore Taya Vasquez, who was 5-6, also hit a team-best .526 with 25 RBIs and a team-high nine doubles..
“I am very pleased with Staci receiving Player of the Year. Tolar has two of the best pitchers in our district,” said Collie. “Taya earned this honor. She is an outstanding softball player.”
Catcher Katie Keith received the other superlative honor for Tolar, being named Co-Freshman of the Year. She batted .360 wtih team-highs in RBIs (29) and walks (15).
“I’m ecstatic with the honor Katie received,” said Collie. “She did a phenomenal job behind the plate and at the plate.”
Freshman shortstop Hannah Lee (.464 batting average, team-best five triples, 16 RBIs) and junior utility player Alli Isom (.362, 13 RBIs) were named to the second team. Joining Holt as honorable mentions were juniors Kayla Bonnell and Carson King, along with freshman Laura Anderson.
“Hannah stepped it up this year playing shortstop for us, her speed and strong arm were hard to beat,” said Collie. “Alli played third, first and outfield. She batted in the No. 2 spot and did a great job.
“This makes me very excited, having this many coming back. I think we are going to be a much better team next season.”
The Lady Rattlers narrowly missed their first playoff berth since moving up to 2A in 2010. They finished fourth in district.
“This is something we can build on. These girls are only going to get better.
At one point during the 2013 season, the Lady Rattlers put together a nine-game winning streak. This streak included capturing the championship of the Perrin Tournament, in which they outscored their six opponents 78-12.
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All-District 10-2A Softball Team
Player of the Year
P Staci Ashley, soph.
Co-Freshman of the Year
C Katie Keith.
P Taya Vasquez, soph.
SS Hannah Lee, fr.; UT Alli Isom, jr.
Kayla Bonnell, jr.; Carson King, jr.; Laura Anderson, fr.; Bailey Holt, sr.