All-Area Softball

Clover's Edmunds named All-Area Softball Player of the Year

bmccormick@heraldonline.comJune 24, 2013 

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    Player of the Year

    Elizabeth Edmunds, Clover

    Coach of the Year

    Shea Hall, Clover

    First team

    Elizabeth Edmunds, Clover- Edmunds was productive on the mound and with her bat for the Blue Eagles. The sophomore was 23-6 as a starting pitcher with a 2.03 earned run average and 123 strikeouts. She also hit a home run and drove in 15, while batting .353. She earned Region 3-4A Player of the Year honors for her effort.

    Madison Tepfenhart, Clover- Tepfenhart, a catcher, will play at Newberry College next season after hitting .355 as a season with three home runs and 27 RBI.

    Marisa Harkey, Clover- One of the best power hitters in the area, Harkey, a sophomore shortstop, knocked out five homers and drove in 31 runs, while batting .368 with a .611 slugging percentage.

    Blake Wallert, Clover- Wallert was another stout bat in the potent Clover lineup. The sophomore hit three home runs with 32 RBI and a .379 batting average.

    Kori Wancheck, Northwestern- One of a number of impressive sophomores in the area, Wancheck struck out 180 in 133 innings of pitching, while holding opponents to a .184 batting average. She also hit .415 with five home runs and 26 RBI. Wancheck was also an All-State selection

    Rachel Marion, Northwestern- Freshman catcher hit .354 with 20 RBI and made All-Region for the second straight season.

    Stacie Ernandez, Lewisville- Senior centerfielder was named Region 3-A Player of the Year and also made All-State after batting .557 this spring.

    Brooke Love, Lewisville- Junior first baseman hit .463 for the Lions and cleanly fielded 98 percent of her defensive plays.

    Macey Brazzell, Rock Hill- All-Area pitcher who hurt opponents on the mound and with her stick.

    Katy Ghent, Lancaster- Senior pitcher who batted .415 for the Bruins. Ghent will play softball at Columbia College next season.

    Stephanie Markfort, South Pointe- Senior slugger batted .329, hit two homers and drove in 23 runs for the Stallions.

    Second team

    Alli Yarborough, Indian Land

    Bayley Hinson, Rock Hill

    Rhiannon Schofield, Great Falls

    Deandra Ealey, Lewisville

    Autumn Jordan, Lewisville

    Logan Miller, Lewisville

    Brittany Rhinehardt, Clover

    Brooke Rhinehardt, Clover

    Danielle Gibson, Fort Mill

    Taylor Rayborn, Fort Mill

    Lauren Kidd, Nation Ford

    Mandy Mitchell, Nation Ford

    Jessica Bolin, York

When Clover squared off with Hillcrest in the District softball championship last month, Blue Eagles pitcher Elizabeth Edmunds put on a clinic in how to get groundball outs.

There were dribblers, choppers, bleeders, slow-rollers and worm-burners, 15 ground ball outs in total. Edmunds didn’t strike out a batter during the game but she bossed the bats of the defending state champs, limiting the Rams to just four hits and helping the Blue Eagles bust into the clique of I-85 schools that dominate softball annually in the Upper State with a 4-1 win.

“Coach (Shea) Hall always said let them put it in play because the defense behind me always has my back, and it definitely showed that day,” Edmunds said. “I don’t have to do it all on my own.”

Games like that – and there were many of them – led to Edmunds claiming the Herald’s 2013 All-Area Softball Player of the Year award. Only a sophomore, she was 23-6 with a 2.03 earned run average on the mound thanks in part to a nasty screwball pitch that opponents were usually lucky to touch with a bat.

“It’s really rewarding because I’ve worked so hard the last year, even getting pitching lessons,” Edmunds said on Saturday.

She wasn’t just a groundball-getter either. Edmunds struck out 123 batters, and hit .353, with a home run and 15 RBI to boot. It was on the bump though that her real worth shined through, especially as a workhorse who threw almost every game this season for the Blue Eagles.

“She was consistent day in and day out, whether we scored 10 runs for her or one run for her,” said Hall. “She gave us a chance to win every ballgame.”

Edmunds is one of a number of young players on the Clover roster who have played varsity since their middle school years. Vast experience as a 10th grader helped the Blue Eagles’ star arm keep her cool in tight situations.

“She’s been that way since seventh grade,” said Hall. “You look at her out there, you don’t know if we’re down or up… she keeps a good demeanor out there.”

Edmunds’ even keel, a talented bunch of teammates, and a devastating screwball helped her go 14-0 in Region 3-4A play this season as the Blue Eagles claimed the region championship for the third year running. The sophomore, also an All-Area basketball performer, didn’t try to do too much, relying instead on the excellent bunch of gloves behind her.

“She’s not over-powering,” Hall said. “Hopefully, she can get her five to seven strikeouts per game. But she’s just better at putting the ball where he needs to be. Our defense all year was solid and she did a good job of hitting her spots and letting our defense play.”

Bret McCormick •  329-4032. Twitter: @BretJust1T

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