2011 ALL-AREA SOFTBALL TEAM: County’s young stars mean exciting future

Published 5:00 pm Friday, June 17, 2011

The Clanton Advertisers’ 2011 All-Area Softball Team is a display of the bright futures of local teams.

Not that this past season was a bad one.

Maplesville made its third consecutive appearance in the Class 1A state tournament, and several other teams played in regional tournaments but fell a little short.

But only three of 10 first-team selections are seniors, meaning local squads can expect to be making plenty of postseason appearances in the coming years.

The three seniors—Chilton County’s Rachel Johnston, Maplesville’s Courtney Killingsworth and Thorsby’s Halie McKinnon—were crucial components of their teams’ success.

Johnston led CCHS at the plate and was a standout shortstop, despite making the all-area team as a designated hitter. Killingsworth was her team’s primary pitcher and also contributed as a standout batter. And McKinnon brought experience to a young Rebels squad and patrolled the outfield grass defensively.

The rest of the first team is made up of underclassmen.

The youngest of the group is freshman Josie Adams, who played for a Thorsby team that was probably the county’s youngest. Listed on the second team is teammate Taylor McManus, a seventh grader.

The second team is more of the same, with only two juniors and no seniors. McManus is the youngest listed, but there are also four eighth graders: Chilton County’s Kricket Caton, Isabella’s Kristen Adams and Chelsea Cox, and Verbena’s Victoria Fletcher.

With so many outstanding players sure to stick around for a few more years, county teams have much to look forward to.

First team

•Brianna Cleckler, Chilton Co, pitcher, junior

•Courtney Killingsworth, Maplesville, pitcher, senior

•Shelby Lopez, Jemison, catcher, junior

•Lauren Stewart, Chilton Co., first base, junior

•Josie Adams, Thorsby, second base, freshman

•Autumn Smith, Maplesville, third base, sophomore

•Morgan Little, Maplesville, shortstop, junior

•Shelby Griffin, Jemison, outfield, sophomore

•Tiffany Guin, Jemison, outfield, junior

•Halie McKinnon, Thorsby, outfield, senior

•Rachel Johnston, Chilton Co., designated hitter, senior

Second team

•Chanin Hancock, Verbena, pitcher, freshman

•Taylor McManus, Thorsby, pitcher, 7th grade

•Kricket Caton, Chilton Co., catcher, 8th grade

•Kiana Andrews, Maplesville, first base, sophomore

•Lindsey Parrish, Chilton Co., second base, junior

•Kristen Adams, Isabella, third base, 8th grade

•Chelsea Cox, Isabella, shortstop, 8th grade

•Natalie Arnold, Maplesville, outfield, junior

•Mattie Cleckler, Verbena, outfield, junior

•Allison Mims, Isabella, outfield, junior

•Victoria Fletcher, Verbena, designated hitter, 8th grade