By BRAD KEITH
TheFlashToday.com NEWS & SPORTS – FREE & LOCAL
Stephenville claimed two special honors and eight total spots on the 6-4A all-district softball roster.
Sophomore third-base Nadine Arredondo was named offensive player of the year in a vote of district head coaches, and freshman Julia Flores new comer of the year in a vote of district head coaches.
Junior second baseman Kali Smith, junior first baseman Emily Miller, sophomore outfielder Sami Shaffer and freshman shortstop Morgan DiCiccio earned first-team honors, while senior catcher Sierra Varnado and sophomore designated player Madi Crew picking up second-team accolades.
Arredondo hit .394, with five home runs and 27 runs batted in while posting an on-base percentage of .529 and a slugging percentage of .667, leading the team in all five categories.
Flores pitched all but 19 innings for the Bees, who reached the bi-district playoffs as the third-place finisher in 6-4A . The freshman worked 150 innings from the circle, and though her record was 11-12, she struck out 152 batters and posted a respectable 3.45 earned run average.
Flores also proved valuable from the plate, hitting .349 with an on-base percentage of .423 and 21 runs driven in. She actually led the team with 30 hits, four more than Arredondo.
DiCiccio posted a .329 average from the dish. Predominantly a slap hitter with speed, the freshman led off the Honeybee lineup and led the team with 27 runs. Smith played beside DiCiccio in the middle of the infield and hit .280 from the plate. Miller had a .309 average with 25 hits and 15 RBIs, and Shaffer batted .280 while driving in 17 runs.
Varnado batted just .213 but had 14 RBI and 20 runs scored. She proved most valuable as a catcher, helping to guide freshmen Flores and Rainey Boase, who combined to pitch every inning of the season. Crew battled a knee injury that cost her almost half the season. She did have a home run and drove in four runs in district play.
The Bees made the playoffs for the fifth straight year, the last four under head coach Rus Mayes. They lose only two seniors, Varnado and part-time base runner Cassidy Cline.