It’s a bit of an evasion to start it off that way, but what season for local softball?
La Plata returned to the Final Four, qualifying for the Class 1 title. Atlanta won its third consecutive district title and fifth consecutive conference title. Kirksville and Macon were two of the state’s top Class 3 teams, repeating with conference titles as well, but got caught in the toughest district possible.
Following: Stuart’s determination in the spotlight this season as 2021 Softball Player of the Year
And as you’ll see on this year’s All-Express squad, an incredible senior class has completed the fourth and final year of their career. Many school records have been destroyed by these girls in four years.
So, going back to the overview of these players, here are the ones selected for the All-Express 2021 softball team, listed alphabetically by last name.
Olivia Coy, La Plata, senior, pitcher
Coy ended his career with another monster season to help bring La Plata back to the Final Four. Coy has hit 0.590 this season, setting a new school record. She also set school records with seven triples and 53 RBIs for the Bulldogs, state runners-up. And his five home runs have earned him the career record in that statistic. In the circle, Coy went 15-7 with a 1.176 ERA and 220 strikeouts. Coy has been an All-Express winner over the four years of her career, most notably as the 2020 Player of the Year.
Claire Coy, La Plata, second year, receiver
Claire continues to take on the role of Coy for the next two years after her sister graduates. She continues to stand out with good offensive play and a strong spirit behind the plate. She’s 0.418 from first place for the Bulldogs this season, adding seven homers, 27 RBIs and 28 stolen goals.
Abbie Farmer, Atlanta, senior, pitcher
Farmer has improved year after year for a spectacular senior season and has established herself as arguably Atlanta’s best player. She led the Hornets circle, going 20-4 with a school record of 289 strikeouts and a 1.95 ERA. She ended her career with 931 strikeouts, an obvious Atlanta record. And as dominant as she was throwing, Farmer was the same way at the plate. She’s 0.573 this season with 35 RBIs, 34 RBIs, nine doubles, five triples and five homers. Farmer was a four-year-old All-Express selection and was 2019 Player of the Year.
Kait Hatfield, Schuyler County, junior, pitcher
Hatfield has had a stellar season for the Rams, both in circle and at home plate. She went 11-7 with a 2.62 ERA and 137 strikeouts in her second season as a Rams ace. And she was from another world on offense, reaching 0.651 with 22 RBIs, 13 doubles and five homers. Her 44 hits this season set a new Schuyler record and she set the one-game homerun record with a three-homer night.
Jen Hinkle, County Knox, junior, third base
Moving on to third base this season, Hinkle has been a consistent contributor for the Eagles this fall. She reached 0.485 with 15 doubles, 16 RBIs and 27 runs scored. Hinkle also used his athleticism to pull off a perfect 26 for 26 on stolen bases this year.
Karlie Ingersoll, Putnam County, senior, third base
Ingersoll was a reliable bat and glove for Putnam County this season. She reached 0.359 with 35 RBIs, 22 RBIs and 11 doubles. Ingersoll also added 13 stolen bases for the Midget offense.
Jenna Jackson, Kirksville, senior, shortstop
Jackson continued to be a strong bat in Kirksville’s lineup in his final season. She reached 0.409 and added 24 RBIs and 19 RBIs for one of the best teams in Class 3. A key stick at the heart of Kirksville’s roster in recent years, replacing Jackson next year will be difficult to do.
Jada Jackson, Kirksville, sophomore, center field
Jackson burst onto the scene this year in his first major opportunity at college level. She has led Kirksville with an average of 0.438 this season, scoring 24 points, a team-high and 13 at bat. His two circuits were also a high for the team. Add to that his defensive prowess in the outfield and Jackson will continue to make noise.
Madi McCarty, Kirksville, senior, wide receiver
McCarty ended his career in orange and black with a solid season. McCarty reached 0.322 with 23 runs scored and 18 RBIs. McCarty also stole 16 goals, getting caught just once. The future Truman Bulldog was as reliable a catcher as he can be, and while he doesn’t create stats, he carries a ton of game intelligence.
Lexi Miller, Macon, senior, shortstop
A top-notch defenseman and hitter for the Tigerettes, a highly ranked Class 3 team this season, Miller hit 0.432 in her last campaign. She finished with 30 RBIs, 26 RBIs, 11 doubles and hit three home runs. She also had an almost perfect shortstop defensive season.
Cady Pauley, Milan, senior, pitcher
Pauley did some damage in the circle, posting a 13-10 record with a 1.58 ERA and 198 strikeouts. But she was just as deadly with her bat. Pauley hit .514 and was a hitting machine. Most of her 20 RBIs have come on long balls as she has hit 11 home runs this season. She also recorded 21 walks, 12 of which were intentional.
Claire Tipton, Putnam County, senior, pitcher
After three very good seasons in Putnam County, Tipton has broken out for a huge campaign as a senior. His offensive stats were incredible, hitting 0.529 with 46 runs scored, 41 RBIs, seven homers, six triples and 16 doubles. And she was just as good in the circle, going 18-10 with a 1.75 ERA and 282 strikeouts. Tipton will continue his softball career at Indian Hills Community College.
Kaidyn Watson, Atlanta, junior, shortstop
A key cog in Atlanta’s power lineup, Watson has moved out of second place this season. Watson reached .410 for the Hornets with 33 runs, 22 RBIs and 12 doubles. It’s an important bat for the Hornets next season.
Brooke Weimer, Macon, junior, pitcher
Weimer continued to develop as one of the region’s top pitchers, making a statement with her junior season. Weimer, the Clarence Cannon Conference player of the year, went 14-5 with a 1.53 ERA and 182 strikeouts. But she was by no means limited to home plate, hitting 0.397 with 25 RBIs and nine home runs.
Pieper Wood, La Plata, senior, first baseman
Wood is another accomplished senior on this year’s All-Express squad, making the squad for the fourth time. She hit .415, with two homers, and added 30 RBIs and 24 steals. Wood, La Plata’s all-time doubles leader, also added 11 more in this category.
Atlanta: Mati Pinkston, Aymee Young, Kait Farmer; Brashear: Haley McNamar, Alexa Borgmeyer, Aubrey Borgmeyer, Lacey Fisher; Green City: Paige Pialet, Celeste Athon, Maddie Lunsford; Kirksville: Jordan Meng; County of Knox: Daniela Dooley; La Plata: Brooklyn Carvajal, Paige Carvajal, Izzy Joyce; Macon: Brooklyn Anderson, Jacee Johnsen, Reese Adair, Emma Bruno; Milan: Amy Pickering; Novinger: Fontaine Abbi; Putnam County: Sam Daniels; Schuyler County: MaKinley Aeschliman, Bailie Atkinson, Tinley Roberts, Tralyn Wilson; County of Scotland: Hannah Feeney, Baileigh Phillips, Hanna Anders, Kina Billings.
Nominations are being sought from high school coaches in Atlanta, Brashear, Green City, Kirksville, Knox County, La Plata, Macon, Milan, Novinger, Putnam County, Schuyler County and Scotland County.