Coming up with a fair and balanced mix of All-County teams is harder than it looks.
With cross country and volleyball All-County teams already complete, only football and softball remained. Ashley Brown is working on the football lineup, which left softball for me.
It wasn't easy.
In any other county, I'd take five minutes, copy the Greenbrier roster onto the All-County roster and be done with it. Yes, they have that much talent.
However, there are three other Columbia County softball teams who were simply too good this season to go without recognition.
All three local teams in the GHSA's Region 2-AAAA - Greenbrier, Evans and Lakeside - finished in the top four of the region tournament and won at least one game in the GHSA AAAA State Sectionals.
Harlem, playing in the competitive Region 3-AAA, reached the region tournament finals and secured a spot in the AAA state sectional.
Greenbrier did take its annual throne as the softball queen. The Lady Wolfpack won their 10thconsecutive region championship and went on to reach the AAAA State Elite Eight in Columbus, Ga. After a fifth-place finish in the state playoffs, Greenbrier finished the 2005 season with a 32-7 overall record.
That being said, the All-County selections were as competitive as four state playoff-caliber teams could have made it. After input from coaches and days of reviewing stats, strength of schedules and other factors, The Columbia County News-Times All-County Softball Teams are here.
P - Austin Long, Greenbrier, Sr. Facing the toughest schedule out of anyone else in the county, Long kept opposing batters to a 0.121 average with a 24-6 record and miniscule 0.535 ERA.
P - Brittany Newsome, Harlem, So. With 199 strikeouts in only 195 innings pitched and a state playoff no-hitter to boot, the next two years of Harlem softball are looking good.
C - Lauren O'Brien, Evans, Sr. Caught every game (253 innings, 1,079 batters) for the Lady Knights this season with a 0.995 fielding percentage.
1B - Kassie Bailey, Greenbrier, So. More than a few times, she started the game at first base before moving to the mound to mow down opposing batters with little warm up.
2B - Amanda Glover, Greenbrier, Sr. Batted 0.365 with 17 RBI and 30 runs. No wonder she's started all four years for the Lady Wolfpack.
3B - Tiffany Blackburn, Greenbrier, Jr. Drove in 40 RBI on nine doubles, three home runs and a 0.333 batting average. She'll need to keep up the offensive explosion as a senior.
SS - Kacee Camp, Harlem, So. Her 0.429 batting average and 0.478 on-base percentage is even more impressive considering she's only a sophomore.
OF - Kayla Adams, Greenbrier, Sr. The slap-hitter was automatic, with a 0.394 batting average and perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.
OF - Courtney McCladdie, Greenbrier, Sr. Another Lady Wolfpack slap-hitter with a perfect fielding percentage and an impressive 0.350 batting average.
OF - Taylor Jones, Evans, So. Led the team in batting with a 0.343 average and played error-free ball all season long.
P - Laura Brown, Evans, Fr.
P - Kaitlin Hill, Lakeside, Fr.
C - Jessica Borum, Greenbrier, Sr.
1B - Kelley Hamilton, Harlem, Jr.
2B - Julia Nelson, Evans, Sr.
3B - Brittney Partridge, Harlem, Sr.
SS - Brittney Leverette, Greenbrier, Sr.
OF - Kayla Thurmond, Greenbrier, Sr.
OF - Alana Dyson, Harlem, Fr.
OF - Jori McMurtrey, Lakeside, Sr.
Player of the Year
Austin Long, Greenbrier
Coach of the Year
Garrett Black, Greenbrier
Kelsey Donnelly (Evans Sr. P), Hillary Hall (Lakeside Jr. C), Brittani Turner (Evans Sr. 3B), Kayle Hutchins (Lakeside Jr. SS), Maddy Crawford (Evans, Jr. SS).
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.