District 1-2A produced half of the semifinalists in both the state baseball and softball tournaments this season, so it is little surprise the group is well represented on the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 2A All-State teams.
Four of the spots on the baseball team and three on the softball squad are occupied by 1-2A players, a district that produced three of the eight state baseball quarterfinalists.
“You have Evangel and Calvary, and they’re always playing at a high level,” North Webster baseball coach Chris Brooks said. “Baseball and softball-wise, we want to be competitive with them. In general, that pushes everyone along, trying to keep up with each other.”
Individually, Calvary placed two seniors on the baseball team — pitcher Stephen Morrison (10-1, 0.80 ERA) and first baseman Garrett Williams (.388, 7, 40).
Williams’ selection was his second, as he also made the first team as a sophomore.
“It’s a great honor to make All-State,” said Williams, who struck out 89 batters in 58 innings as a pitcher. “Oklahoma State wants me to be a two-way player. Hopefully, I can shine as a first baseman there.”
Evangel junior shortstop Miller Parker (.338, 2 HRs, 18 RBIs) was the lone representative from the state champion Eagles.
“We really didn’t have that standout guy,” Parker said. “I wouldn’t be the first guy I mentioned (off our team). It’s a team thing. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates or the Huletts (coaches Tim, Jeff and Joe Hulett). It feels great.”
North Webster senior outfielder Renaldo Morris led the area in batting average for much of the season, finishing the season at .425, earning a spot on the first team. Morris, a Southern Arkansas signee, reached base at a .500 clip for the Knights, who reached the Class 2A state quarterfinals.
On the softball side, Evangel placed its battery of pitcher Carolina Sanchez and catcher Baylee Shephard on the first team.
Sanchez, a junior and Louisiana Tech commitment, posted a 1.21 ERA and a 14-5 record, as the Lady Eagles reached the semifinals.
Shephard, a senior who has signed with Northwestern State, was The Times’ All-City Player of the Year after hitting .476 with 33 RBIs.
“It’s great, because we work together every practice,” Shephard said of sharing first-team accolades with Sanchez. “We spend most of our time together, so for us to both get it, it feels pretty cool. Not that many people get to say that.”
North Webster ace Amberlee Nix (25-6) rounded out District 1-2A’s softball trio, while Many senior Kaley Leach (.464) was a utility selection after helping lead the Lady Tigers to the state quarterfinals.