Childress named Softball Player of the Year

Katlyn Childress of Billingsley combines power and movement to baffle opposing hitters and pile up the strikeouts. She finished with 341 strikeouts on the year and was named the Softball Player of the Year by The Clanton Advertiser. (Photo by Anthony Richards)

Katlyn Childress of Billingsley combines power and movement to baffle opposing hitters and pile up the strikeouts. She finished with 341 strikeouts on the year and was named the Softball Player of the Year by The Clanton Advertiser. (Photo by Anthony Richards)

A major reason why Billingsley softball advanced to the Class 1A state title game for the first time in school history was the play of pitcher Katlyn Childress, who was named the The Clanton Advertiser’s 2016 Player of the Year.

Since joining the varsity squad as a freshman, Childress has made the state tournament all three seasons at the high school level.

“My first thought was that all my hard work has paid off and that God has blessed me so much with the opportunity to do what I love,” Childress said.

Childress thanked all those who have had an impact on helping her balance success both on the field and in the classroom.

“My family and everyone who has helped me through the years was extremely happy for me,” Childress said. “No matter what, they make sure that they are at every single game to support me.”

According to Childress, the approach during each at-bat is to get ahead in the count and win the mental battle between pitcher and hitter.

“When I’m out on the field, I have one goal, which is to strike the batter out,” Childress said. “It’s not for myself, but for my team. If I strike out someone, that’s just less work that my defense has to do.”

Childress prides herself in her ability to move the ball around the plate, and not rely solely on her power.

“I work a lot on spins and the movement on my pitches,” Childress said. “It’s not all about throwing hard. If a batter gets a hit, they earned it. You can eventually catch up to speed, but it’s hard to catch up to movement.”

On the season, Childress pitched in 36 games and a total of 186 innings. During that time, she compiled 341 strikeouts and a 1.66 ERA.

Moving forward, Childress wants to continue working on the hitting aspect of her game¬¬–something that she believes can make her an even more of a threat for opponents.

The relationship between a pitcher and a catcher is one of the most impactful in any sport.

“She (Madison Motley) was there for me all the time throughout school and practice,” Childress said. “I couldn’t have done anything that I did without her help. You have to have that chemistry.”

As the success piles up, so do the expectations that the entire Bears team are suddenly faced with.

“We definitely don’t get tired of it, that’s for sure,” Childress said. “We want it, and we have the heart for it. I have never been more close to team than I was this year.”


First Team

Pitcher: Katlyn Childress, Billingsley, junior

Pitcher: Hannah Rose Corbin, Jemison, sophomore

Pitcher: Taylor McManus, Thorsby, senior

Pitcher: Hannah Oaks, Chilton County, senior

Catcher: Madison Motley, Billingsley, sophomore

First base: Chandler Kirkland, Isabella, senior

Second base: Caitlin Burnett, Chilton County, freshman

Third base: Casey Headley, Billingsley, freshman

Shortstop: Gabby Kelley, Chilton County, junior

Outfield: Destiny Bailey, Jemison, junior

Outfield: Jasmine Epperson, Jemison, junior

Outfield: Katelyn Green, Verbena, junior

Designated hitter: Lilly Barnett, Thorsby, junior

Utility: Chelsea Ray, Verbena, senior


Honorable mention

Kennise Bolton, Jemison, sophomore

Noelle Fjeldstad, Isabella, freshman

Makayla Mims, Verbena, junior

Cassie Phillips, Chilton County, junior

Abby Cleckler, Thorsby, eighth grade

Kelsie Elrod, Billingsley, freshman

Makaela Littleton, Isabella, senior



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