Mineral Wells Index
By TONY EIERDAM
Seven members of the Mineral Wells Lady Rams softball team earned All-District 6-3A honors, including two superlative awards, in a vote of league coaches.
Senior catcher Reagan Patterson was voted as the district’s Offensive Player of the Year, while freshman pitcher Kelsey Keeton was awarded Newcomer of the Year.
Patterson, a three-year all-district first team honoree, led 6-3A in home runs with three with a batting average of .542 with a league-high 24 runs batted in. She also recorded 19 hits, four doubles and a pair of triples while scoring 15 runs in district play.
“Reagan has done a phenomenal job at catcher, and she had a career year this year,” Lady Rams head coach David Tarver said. “I just sat back and enjoyed watching her.
“She got hot at the plate and I never said a word of instruction to her. I just zipped my lips and watched her perform. I also trusted her to call pitches during a game.”
Keeton started in all but one district game in the circle for MWHS. In 48 innings she allowed just seven earned runs with 60 strikeouts and five walks for a 7-2 record.
“Kelsey was steady, and she carried herself more like a veteran than a freshman and was not in the least intimidated,” Tarver said. “But the one word I would use to describe her play is steady.
“She brought it every single game, inning and pitch.”
Mineral Wells junior shortstop Bethany Allen, senior second baseman Chandler Ortiz, sophomore third baseman Hope Patterson and sophomore right fielder Tabby Santibanez each earned first-team honors.
Allen, who has made three consecutive all-district first teams and was a first-team, all-state selection in 2012 (and a candidate for this year’s all-state team), hit .481 in district play with 20 runs scored, 13 hits and six RBI. Allen was also one of the district’s top infielders.
Ortiz hit .334 and played almost errorless ball at second base. She drove in nine runs in 6-3A and also scored nine times.
While Ortiz and Allen are known for their offensive skills, Tarver pointed to their defensive skills as another reason both made the first team. It was also the third year in a row Ortiz made the all-district team.
“Chandler and BB (Allen), without a doubt, are the best double play combination I have ever had,” Tarver said. “Chandler and BB both dive after balls, and they use their bodies to stop hard-hit balls if they have to.
“Bethany has the ‘it’ factor,” Tarver continued. “Some people just have that greatness that you can’t put into words.
“Bethany just has it. She is patience and disciplined at the plate, she has power and can hit for a high average, and she has speed.
“Chandler hit for power and average. She also was our best bunter and has the ability to move runners.”
Hope Patterson hit .370 with a home run, four doubles and nine RBI, and Santibanez scored seven runs while playing outstanding defense.
“Hope has a world of potential,” Tarver said. “Hope has a great swing and hits with a lot of power.
“Once she learns everything she can do within that swing she is going to be unstoppable.”
Earning second-team honors from MWHS was sophomore center fielder Makayla Nance, who scored five runs and drove in three in league play.
Kennedale senior outfielder/pitcher Mackenzie Bay was voted as 6-3A’s Most Valuable Player, with teammate Kaitlyn Leeds, a senior, selected as the district’s Pitcher of the Year.
Kennedale added another superlative award as sophomore shortstop Jazlyn Crowder was voted Defensive Player of the Year.