WYDaily.com is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.
Three Grafton girls were recognized as state-caliber softball players Monday, with outfielder Christa Hall and third baseman Jessie Sprouse receiving first-team honors and shortstop Tara Deck named to the second-team.
The three were integral parts of a Grafton team that was eliminated from the state tournament semifinal earlier this month in a 6-0 loss to Woodgrove.
Hall, a senior, earned first-team All-Conference 19 and All-Region 4A South honors after posting a .390 batting average and driving in a team-high 22 runs in the leadoff position.
After an off-season injury and a slow start to the season, Hall, Grafton’s Female Athlete of the Year, emerged as one of the team’s premier offensive weapons.
“Offensively, she was the table setter for us,” Grafton head coach Vanessa Young said of Hall. “Hitting leadoff is a lot of pressure, but we wanted her in that spot because of her ability to get things going.”
Young described Sprouse, a junior who held a .377 batting average with 16 RBIs, as the team’s emotional leader, citing her impressive work ethic and willingness to help teammates after practice.
“Jessie is definitely a team leader on and off the field,” Young said. “The girls look up to her. Her work ethic alone is phenomenal. She’s an overall team player.”
Deck, Grafton’s second-team All-State selection, batted .342 with 14 RBIs for the Clippers. The junior was a first-time shortstop at the varsity level. She displayed her talents at the position and quickly became one of Grafton’s best infielders.
“Shortstop is pretty much the leader of the infield,” Young said. “She’s always talking and always motivating. She’s got a lot of range and a strong arm. She plays a lot of outfield for her travel ball team, so her arm strength alone is good.”
Below are the All-State selections:
Player of the Year: Sydney Nester, senior, Carroll County
Coach of the Year: Rick Nester, Carroll County
Pitcher: Sydney Nester, senior, Carroll County
Pitcher: Annaleise Kennedy, junior, Fluvanna
Pitcher: Sydney Gay, senior, Smithfield
Catcher: Hallie Daughtry, junior, Woodgrove
First Base: Adriana Erickson, junior, Woodgrove
Second Base: Jac Mounie, junior, Nansemond River
Third Base: Jessie Sprouse, junior, Grafton
Shortstop: Alexis Scott, senior, Fluvanna
Outfield: Christa Hall, senior, Grafton
Outfield: Allison Brewer, senior, Deep Creek
Outfield: Alexa Dolby, junior, Woodgrove
Outfield: Mackenzie Wyatt, junior, Hanover
Flex: Cheyenne Strickland, senior, Carroll County
Utility: Diana McDaniel, senior, Liberty
Pitcher: Camryn Dolby, freshman, Woodgrove
Pitcher: Julia Fritz, sophomore, Glen Allen
Pitcher: Ryn Boelter, junior, Deep Creek
Catcher: Daja Burgee, sophomore Deep Creek
First Base: Kaylyn Shepherd, junior, Hanover
Second Base: Kaylie Mull, junior, Jefferson Forest
Third Base: Taylor Kilgour, senior, Woodgrove
Shortstop: Tara Deck, junior, Grafton
Outfield: Morgan Lowers, senior, Nansemond River
Outfield: Tiffani Shaheen, senior, Fluvanna
Outfield: Tiffany Moore, senior, Carroll County
Outfield: Grace Sanderson, senior, Woodgrove
Flex: Meredith Throckmorton, senior, Smithfield
Utility: Mason Basdikis, freshman, Powhatan