Indian Land softball reached the 2018 Upper State tourney. Can it do one better this spring?
Indian Land’s Peyton Darnell really had to have a huge senior season to top her junior year production of 13 homers.
Darnell, The Herald’s 2019 All-Area softball player of the year, batted .657 with 16 home runs and 49 RBI. She was named Region 4-3A player of the year and a 3A All-State selection.
Maybe Darnell just beat up on inferior competition?
Not the case. Darnell hit home runs against Indian Land’s best opponents - Union County (3A state finalists), Woodruff (3A district finalist), North Augusta (4A Upper State tournament), Fort Mill (5A Upper State tournament), May River (3A district finalist) and Chester (3A playoff team). She had at least two RBI in each of those games, including twice against Fort Mill, and walked three times against Broome (3A Upper State tournament).
And for good measure, Darnell, who signed with USC Upstate, hit a grand slam during a preseason scrimmage against Clover.
Darnell’s coach, Monica Barfield, is the All-Area coach of the year. Barfield led Indian Land to three softball state titles in four years, then took a break from 2009 to 2017. But the Warriors are glad she’s back, because she’s revved the program back up. They reached the Upper State tournament, and return a core of talented underclassmen. It’ll be interesting to watch how Indian Land softball handles the likely future transition to 4A softball in 2020-21; their performances this season and Barfield’s guidance should give encouragement that it will be a manageable jump.
Player of the year: Peyton Darnell, Indian Land
Coach of the year: Monica Barfield, Indian Land
(Listed alphabetically by school)
Tiffany Domingue, Clover - senior signed with USC Upstate hit .630, with eight home runs, 14 RBI and seven stolen bases. Domingue was a 5A All-State pick and made just two errors at shortstop this season. She finishes her high school playing days with a career batting average of .426 and will go down as one of the best Blue Eagles ever.
Emma Tisdale, Fort Mill - freshman shortstop burst onto the scene, making the 5A All-State team and All-Region 3-5A. She hit .378 with 10 home runs, including two walk-off homers, and 35 RBI.
Daniella, Wilson, Indian Land - All-State and All-Region 4-3A third baseman/catcher hit .645 with six home runs and 42 RBI. Wilson, who signed with George Washington University, was also selected to the North-South all-star game.
Peyton Darnell, Indian Land - the USC Upstate signee battered the softball for yet another spring, hitting .657 with 16 home runs and 49 RBI. The Region 4-3A player of the year was also named 3A All-State and selected to the North-South all-star game.
Amber Bass, Lewisville - senior third baseman was named 2A All-State and was All-Region 4-2A. Bass hit .516 with 15 RBI and 14 stolen bases. She had a .781 slugging percentage.
Janelle Illacqua, Nation Ford - freshman shortstop committed to Virginia Tech was named All-State and All-Region 3-5A after hitting .474. She had a home run and 27 RBI, 23 stolen bases and only four strikeouts. She also made just five errors in 79 defensive plays, with none of those occurring in region play.
Kayt Houston, South Pointe - junior was named 5A All-State and All-Region 3-4A after hitting .512 with four home runs and 24 stolen bases (in 24 attempts).
Kaiden Quinn, York - sophomore committed to USC Upstate was a dominant two-way player, hitting .458 with two home runs and 18 RBI, and only one strikeout. She had many more strikeouts as a pitcher, mowing down 106 batters in 67 innings, to go with a 2.59 ERA. Quinn was named Region 3-4A player of the year and was a 4A All-State pick.
Payton Lemire, Fort Mill - senior signed with College of Charleston hit .344 with six home runs and 25 RBI. Lemire was also Fort Mill’s go-to pitcher in the clutch, producing a 14-4 record with 86 strikeouts and only 11 walks. She faced an average of 3.86 batters per inning in region play, with 17 innings where she mowed down three batters in order.
Gloria Williams, Chester - three-time All-Region pick had 82 strikeouts this season, with just 15 walks. Williams had a 2.18 ERA, and also hit .458 with 16 RBI.
Jenna Venturelli, Clover - sophomore first baseman hit .444 with 15 RBI and 10 walks.
Brynn Bartolini, Fort Mill - freshman All-Region 3-5A outfielder hit .480 with 10 RBI and five doubles.
Reagan Smith, Fort Mill - sophomore corner infielder made All-Region after hitting .473 with three home runs and 23 RBI.
Abby Thomas, Lewisville - All-Region junior pitcher/infielder hit .400 with 19 RBI. She also had a .97 fielding percentage and a 3.94 ERA in 60 innings of pitching.
Abby Furr, Lewisville - eighth grade shortstop had a huge season with the Lewisville varsity team, batting .482 with 16 RBI and 10 stolen bases.
Reese Therrell, Rock Hill - junior pitcher/shortstop made All-Region 3-5A after hitting .426. She had 15 RBI and only struck out twice this season. As a pitcher, she struck out 91 batters.
Isabella Dunn, South Pointe - All-State senior was 10-4 on the mound with a 2.80 ERA. She struck out 91 batters. Offensively, Dunn had a home run and 17 RBI.
Ally Morales, York - senior was a North-South all-star after hitting .430 in 90 plate appearances. The Guilford College signee had 34 hits and 14 RBI.
Abbie Welborn, Kalia Caviness and Dakota Peters, Clover; Aleah Roy, Fort Mill; Aaliyah Talford, Great Falls; Amaya Hush, Nation Ford; Izzy Shellnutt and Lydia Beard, Northwestern; Jenna Shaefer and Paris Gallman, Rock Hill; Morgan Langley and Chris Scott, South Pointe; Madi Quinn, York.