Turner’s postseason boosts her to second straight softball POTY award

Published 2:10 pm Tuesday, June 11, 2024

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By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

Makinley Turner of Thorsby High School is The Clanton Advertiser’s softball player of the year for the 2024 season. After winning the award in 2023, Turner repeats this year after improving her numbers in numerous categories, and leading the Rebels to their first state championship game appearance in any sport in school history.

Turner’s season was a bit different than ones before having the Thorsby coaching staff balance between sending her out and saving her arm for bigger games later in the year. Nonetheless, she still managed to earn 19 wins, second best amongst players in Chilton County and two more than last season, and lowered her earned run average down to 1.28 from 1.98 in 2023. She also struck out an astounding 324 batters, making her 282 strikeouts in 2023 look like a small feat.

Turner set herself apart with her showing in the postseason with 28% (91) of her 324 strikeouts coming in the Class 1A Central Regional Tournament and Class 1A State Softball Tournament. That includes 19-strikeout and 22-strikeout efforts to start the central regional, and a no hitter in the first round of the state tournament. Turner struck out at least 10 hitters in six of the eight games across those tournaments, and it landed the Rebels in the state championship game for the first time in program history, and school history overall.

“We would not have gotten to (the state championship) game without those performances from Makinley, and we recognize that, but I loved the way this team got in there behind her and made plays,” Thorsby head coach Merritt Bowden said in May following the state championship game.

Turner hit for a .473 average with 21 doubles, four home runs and 38 RBIs to help at the plate as well, but her focus in the circle in 2024 was the difference maker for Thorsby.


Honorable mention: Jaycee Quinn, Verbena High School

Quinn proved again in 2024 that she is arguably the best pure hitter in Chilton County after another season packing the stat book for Verbena. Her .650 batting average was the highest among players in Chilton County, and her 52 hits was near the top as well. She knocked the ball around the field in every way tallying 19 doubles, eight triples and seven home runs and plated 44 runs for the Red Devils.

Quinn’s season in the circle was nothing short of solid as well, throwing 147 and two-third innings and earning the win in 20 games this season, the most in the county. She allowed just over three runs per game with an earned run average of 3.03, and she had the second most strikeouts in the county with 242.


Honorable mention: Macey Pierce, Chilton County High School

Pierce was a pivotal piece to the Tigers lineup throughout the season leading all players in Chilton County in RBIs with 46 and second in home runs with seven, just one behind her teammate and county leader Mallie Harrison. Pierce’s average jumped up 31 points from last season, up from .424 in 2023, and she plated more runs for the Tigers in 2024 up from 29 last season.


Honorable mention: Mollie Kayte Smith, Maplesville High School

Smith burst onto the Chilton County softball scene this season for the Red Devils and filled some gaps for them left by key pitchers and hitters graduating. The freshman held her own in both facets, starting at the plate as one of only three players in Chilton County with a batting average north of .600 at .603 while knocking five home runs and stealing 17 bases.

Smith was Maplesville’s go-to arm throughout the 2023 season, and she piled up 113 strikeouts in her outings. Arguably her most impressive showing was in the Class 1A Central Regional Tournament in Montgomery where she threw in all three games for the Red Devils striking out 14 hitters combined and earning the win in two of the games.


2024 The Clanton Advertiser All-County Softball Team

Brianna Goggins, CCHS, freshman: .328 AVG, 39 hits, 24 RBIs, 12 doubles, 2 triples, 1 home run, 7 stolen bases, 27 runs scored

Mallie Harrison, CCHS, sophomore: .333 AVG, 35 hits, 32 RBIs, 7 doubles, 9 home runs, 19 runs scored, 102 IP, 4.39 ERA, 75 strikeouts

Macey Pierce, CCHS, junior: .455 AVG, 50 hits, 46 RBIs, 17 doubles, 4 triples, 8 home runs, 6 stolen bases, 39 runs scored

Tyeshia Williams, CCHS, senior: .411 AVG, 39 hits, 29 RBIs, 11 doubles, 8 home runs, 7 stolen bases, 28 runs scored

Trinity Bean, Jemison, sophomore: .613 AVG, 11 RBIs, 9 stolen bases, .925 fielding percentage

Gracie Conway, Jemison, senior: .322 AVG, 15 RBIs, .947 fielding percentage

Abby Pate, Jemison, freshman: .353 AVG, 21 RBIs, .826 fielding percentage

Allie Reeser, Thorsby, seventh grade: .460 AVG, 15 doubles, 1 home run, 37 RBIs, 32 runs scored

Brooklyn Reeser, Thorsby, sophomore: .376 AVG, 12 doubles, 2 home runs, 19 RBIs, 37 runs scored

Makinley Turner, Thorsby, senior: 19-6, 1.28 ERA, 324 strikeouts, .473 AVG, 21 doubles, 4 home runs, 38 RBIs, 43 runs scored

Amelia Fjeldstad, Isabella, senior: .376 AVG, .968 fielding percentage

Aliyah Patterson, Isabella, senior: .389 AVG, .889 fielding percentage

Blair Underwood, Isabella, senior: .312 AVG, .932 fielding percentage, 143 innings pitched, 134 strikeouts

Jaden McGee, Maplesville, sophomore: .560 AVG, 7 home runs, 28 stolen bases, .908 fielding percentage

Mollie Kayte Smith, Maplesville, freshman: .603 AVG, 5 home runs, 17 stolen bases, .949 fielding percentage, 113 strikeouts

Kamylia Talley, Maplesville, freshman: .412 AVG, 1 home run, 36 stolen bases, .920 fielding percentage

Lakeyn Mims, Verbena, junior: .309 AVG, 30 hits, 9 doubles, 6 triples, 2 home runs, 38 RBIs, 32 runs scored

Jaycee Quinn, Verbena, senior: .650 AVG, 52 hits, 19 doubles, 8 triples, 7 home runs, 44 RBIs, 47 runs scored, 147.2 IP, 20-4, 3.03 ERA, 242 strikeouts

Meagan Shiver, Verbena, senior: .228 AVG, 21 hits, 4 doubles, 1 home run, 19 RBIs, 6 runs scored