Giles’s breakout season leads to player of the year

Published 3:48 pm Thursday, June 6, 2019

Chilton County High School’s Marlie Giles hit and caught her way to being named The Clanton Advertiser’s 2019 Softball Player of the Year.

Giles showcased power at the plate and leadership behind it as the Tigers’ catcher.

According to Giles, it feels good to know that all of the hard work she continues to put forth is paying off.

“Me and my dad go hit all the time,” Giles said.

Although Giles was only a freshman this past year, it was her third year playing at the varsity level.

However, there was something different about the feel surrounding her freshman campaign.

“This year was one of my most comfortable years,” Giles said.

Giles attributed her increased production to the fact that she went to school in the same building as her teammates.

This was a big change from her first two years on varsity when she was still in middle school.

According to Giles, the change played a major role in helping build her chemistry with the team.

Hitting is where she saw her game grow the most this past year.

She has continued the upward trend of hitting no home runs as a seventh grader, eight as an eighth grader and 13 as a freshman.

Giles’s talent was on display throughout her freshman season. (Photo by Brandon Sumrall/ Special to the Advertiser)

“My seventh grade year I was tall, but I didn’t have any strength,” Giles said. “Now we go to workouts two or three times a week.”

The team’s home run numbers have followed a similar trend over the past three years.

The Tigers went from hitting one home run in 2017 to 24 in 2018 and 32 in 2019.

It has been hinted around the program that Giles’s 13 bombs this past season were a season record for the CCHS softball program.

Giles appreciates having other home run threats around her, because she knows it makes the game so much more fun as a hitter.

“If you don’t have other hitters around you, they could just walk you and you’d never get to hit,” Giles said.

Catcher is a position that she has embraced over the years and continues to learn the intricacies of how that position can affect a game.

“Whenever I’m catching, normally how I’m acting can affect how everyone else is acting,” Giles said. “If I’m in a good mood, everyone is in a good mood and if I’m not in a good mood no one else is. That’s why I try to do my best stay positive at all times.”

Giles has had a softball in her hands for as long as she can remember. She was 3 years old when she started playing Pee Wee and has been catching since she was 8 years old.

“Most of the time the catcher has the best connection with the pitcher,” Giles said. “I enjoy that.”

Her mother played college softball at Huntingdon, which has helped fuel the family’s passion for the sport.

The Tigers won the 2019 Chilton County Softball Tournament and Giles was named tournament MVP in the process.

With three years remaining in her high school career, some of Giles’s goals include having a .500 batting average, hitting even more home runs and making it to Lagoon Park in Montgomery for the state tournament.

“We just hope that our record keeps getting better and better,” Giles said. “It has so far.”


All-Advertiser First Team

Pitcher: Kinley Bolton, Jemison

Pitcher: Lindsey Burnett, Thorsby

Catcher: Marlie Giles, Chilton County

Infield: Caelyn Griffin, Chilton County

Infield: Kristin Wilson, Isabella

Utility: Hannah Smith, Thorsby

Utility: Casey Headley, Billingsley

Utility: Chloe Eddins, Jemison

Designated hitter: Hallie Arnold, Chilton County


All-Advertiser Second Team

Pitcher: Emma Deason, Chilton County

Pitcher: Kaylee Wright, Maplesville

Catcher: Madisyn Ellison, Thorsby

Infield: Logan Woodley, Jemison

Infield: Hope Watts, Chilton County

Infield: Ashly Cleckler, Thorsby

Infield: Kayla Cleckler, Thorsby

Utility: Katie Beth Payton, Maplesville

Utility: Macey Kelley, Verbena

Utility: Noelle Fjeldstad, Isabella