Honors continue to roll in for the Lady Pioneers after a historic season.
Six members of the District 6AAA champion softball team were named all-district this week, including three who took home player of the year honors.
After being named District 6AAA MVP following the district tournament, junior Hailey Wood was one of four first-team selections on the district list. She was joined by fellow standouts Hope Mullican – District 6AAA Offensive MVP – and Emily Mikkola – Infielder of the year. Junior Ashton Whiles was the team’s fourth first-team selection, while senior Kyra Hillis and sophomore MaKenna Mason were named to the second team.
Wood was a barometer for the Lady Pioneer offense, which averaged over eight runs a game en route to a 20-win season. When the junior got on base, she usually was putting a run on the board. Wood, second on the team with a .405 batting average, reached base 58 times and scored a team-high 44 runs, aided by her team-high 11 stolen bases.
Mullican was usually the one bringing Wood around the bases. The senior right fielder drove in a team-high 32 runs, including 12 in district games and racking up nine RBIs in six postseason games. Mullican hit .354 for the season, but raised her average to .464 in district games – taking particular delight in smashing Stone Memorial for five hits and three RBIs in two meetings.
While Mikkola’s top honor came for excelling as the team’s shortstop, the junior was no slouch at the plate. Mikkola led the team with a .452 batting average, finishing the season on an eight-game hitting streak. She had a season-high four hits against Cookeville in the first of two championship games in the district tournament, when Warren County took two from the Lady Cavaliers to claim the program’s first tournament title in 34 years.
Being a dual threat also helped Whiles garner a first-team selection. The junior is on pace to break the school’s home run record after bashing seven long balls this season – giving her 12 in her career. Along with leading the team in homers, Whiles carried a .390 average, drove in 23 runs and earned six wins in the circle.
Hillis continued her steady impact in the middle of the lineup, improving from her .362 average last season to hit .395 with 18 RBIs this year. The lefty ended her career on a 10-game hitting streak, including a 3-for-4 performance in the title-clinching victory over Cookeville May 10.
The youngest Lady Pioneer to earn all-district honors was the team’s sturdy backstop. Mason was behind the plate for the majority of the team’s games, working with a trio of Lady Pioneer pitchers to limit opponents. After starting slow, Mason also found her groove in April at the plate. The sophomore finished the year with a .338 average, up from .211 when the calendar flipped to April.
Wood, Mikkola, Whiles and Mason will all be back next spring to defend the title, while coach Gooby Martin will try to replace the production of Mullican and Hillis when he holds tryouts Tuesday, June 5.