— By GREG WEBB
Winning a state championship carries a good deal of weight, especially when it comes to postseason awards. And the Aledo Ladycats carried a lot of names in the election returns after the Texas State Writers Association (TSWA) voting was concluded for the 2014 softball season.
With Jeff Lemons at the Aledo helm and Lauren Craine in the Aledo circle en route to the 2014 Class 4A championship, the pair was named Coach of the Year and Player of the Year, respectively, by the TSWA.
Lemons took his 2013 senior-less squad to the state show last year and lost to Buda Hays in the semifinal, but the rematch saw an Aledo team more aggressive and confident behind Lemons’ direction.
Craine was the definitive pitcher for the 2014 Aledo squad. The crafty junior consistently slipped in a good number of strikeouts per game, but she excelled at forcing opposing batters to groundouts and flyouts, with a very capable and efficient defense at her disposal.
Craine had plenty of Aledo teammates to keep her company on the TSWA roster.
Joining her on the First Team were Ladycat infielders Chickie Cook (1B) and state title game MVP Rhylie Makawe (2B). Aledo outfielder Haylee Bowden was also selected a First Teamer.
Aledo also sprinkled the Second Team list, with catcher Alli Ramsey, shortstop Allie Arneson and utility player Megan Mason.
Rounding out the honors for the entire Ladycats infield was third baseman Riley Sartain.
The Brock Lady Eagles had a pair of players named to the TSWA honor roll in Class 2A, with battery mates Krysten Marr and Haley Hardison being selected as Honorable Mentions.
The selection process by the TSWA involves nominations by local sports writers, as well as ad hoc nominations from around the state.