CCHS’s Crowson doesn’t skip beat after year offBy Stephen Dawkins Published 5:20pm Saturday, July 6, 2013
Tiffany Crowson regrets not playing softball her junior season.
After being a part of the Chilton County High School program since her eighth grade year, Crowson sat out in 2011 to focus on school and travel ball.
She often attended CCHS games and found herself wishing she could be on the field helping a group of players she had known for much of her career.
“I was heartbroken last year,” she said. “That was the group I had grown up with.”
But Crowson played in 2012 and made the most of her senior campaign, leading the Tigers both at the plate and behind the plate as a young group grew up fast and built momentum for the future.
Crowson won’t be part of that future, but she said she is happy with the foundation she helped build—a foundation strong enough that Crowson has been named The Clanton Advertiser’s Softball Player of the Year.
“This team this year, we gelled well,” she said. “There was no drama.”
The Tigers didn’t start out well, and a season-ending injury to star third baseman Holly Watts could have derailed any hopes the team had of success.
Crowson helped make up for the loss of Watts’ big bat. Her favorite moments were hitting two home runs in a win at Jemison and a grand slam in an area tournament win over Sylacauga.
“We would have players get down, and me being the oldest and a leader, I knew I had to step up,” Crowson said about Watts’ absence.
Crowson was also important in helping along an inexperienced pitching staff by calling pitches in most of the games.
“You’ve got to think about what their best pitch is,” Crowson said. “It’s all about knowing your pitcher. It’s whatever works for them.”
Crowson said her catching duties helped her become a better hitter.
She was also helped by her travel ball experience, playing for Freedom Fastpitch under the guidance of Rodney Smitherman.
“He’s an awesome man, and he taught me so much about the game.”
Crowson, her team’s veteran, taught her teammates a lot, too, and that knowledge will certainly benefit them for years to come.
2013 All-Area Softball Team
Pitcher: Summer Gaither, Senior, Billingsley
Pitcher: Taylor McManus, Freshman, Thorsby
Pitcher: Autumn Smith, Senior, Maplesville
Catcher: Tiffany Crowson, Senior, Chilton County
First base: Melanie Smith, Junior, Isabella
Second base: Kricket Caton, Sophomore, CCHS
Third base: Kelly Nord, Senior, Thorsby
Shortstop: Payton Walllace, Junior, Billingsley
Outfield: Shelby Griffin, Senior, Jemison
Outfield: Hannah Jackson, Junior, CCHS
Outfield: Brooke Lewis, Junior, Jemison
Designated hitter: Alexus Goggins, 8th grade, Maplesville
Utility: Chelsea Ray, Freshman, Verbena
Coach: Christie Eyer, Thorsby
Pitcher: Chelsea Cox, Sophomore, Isabella
Pitcher: Morgan Lucas, Junior, Jemison
Pitcher: Hannah Oaks, Freshman, CCHS
Catcher: Braiden Gottier, Junior, Thorsby
First base: Hannah Smith, Junior, Jemison
Second base: Josie Adams, Junior, Thorsby
Third base: Anna Asbury, Freshman, Billingsley
Shortstop: Lilly Barnett, 8th grade, Thorsby
Outfield: Karoline Moore, Junior, Verbena
Outfield: Madison Motley, 7th grade, Billingsley
Outfield: Taylor Ray, Sophomore, Jemison
Designated hitter: Holly Watts, Junior, CCHS
Utility: Ashton Taylor, Freshman, Maplesville
All-area selections based on coaches’ nominations, statistics when available and overall team success.