— By GREG WEBB
With relative regularity, and undoubtedly above the curve in prep softball around the state, Parker County spawns a state champion, or at least a team that makes the trip to Austin’s McCombs Field.
‘Twas the case again in 2014, as Aledo swept through district play with its talented roster and displayed dominant play through the playoffs, culminating with a Class 4A championship.
Two (of nine) formidable reasons the Ladycats made it to the Big Show for the second consecutive season were due to a consistent presence in the circle and at the busiest defensive spot on the diamond.
Aledo junior Allie Arneson, who on a regular basis made a big dent in opposing pitching’s plans, was a shortstop with considerable range and a rifle arm. Arneson has been named the Most Valuable Player of the 2014 All-Parker County Softball Team.
With a record of 26-1, Arneson’s classmate Lauren Craine has received the nod as the top pitcher of the year. At times overpowering to the opposing batting order, Craine’s greatest asset was keeping the ball in and around the strike zone to let the defense behind her do their job (quite ably), while picking up a considerable share of strikeouts in the process.
Seniors Haley Hardison of Brock and Liz Konig of Weatherford join the Aledo pair in the Superlatives ranks, named Offensive and Defensive players of the year, respectively.
Head coach Jeff Lemons and the Aledo staff, helping keep the Ladycats focused as the girls reached the pinnacle of state-level play, were named Coaching Staff of the Year.
With most of Parker County’s teams reaching postseason, the APC roster reflects the level of play, with a good representation by all of the schools.
The left side of Weatherford’s infield is well-represented by Abbey Cowan and Ashleigh Erb, who were a formidable presence in the top of the Lady Roo batting order while assuring defensive help in backing up First Team WHS pitcher Kelso O’Brien.