Ardrey Kell won both the Southwestern 4A regular-season and tournament softball titles, claiming both spots over Butler - and second-place Independence - for the first time.It's the Knights' first regular-season title in their short history but their second consecutive tournament title.Charlotte Latin had a season to remember, going 13-8 and advancing to the NCISAA state semifinals (double elimination finals), before falling to High Point Christian.Charlotte Catholic also had a solid year, going 13-9, finishing second in the ME-GA 7 conference to East Gaston and advancing to the 3A playoffs, before falling to West Rowan.Softball Player of the Year: Stephanie Wood, Ardrey Kell. Wood led a talented Knights team with her .550 batting average and 30 RBIs, but also excelled in the classroom, earning a 4.3 GPA.Wood, who plays first base, also led Ardrey Kell to its first outright SW4A regular-season title and second consecutive SW4A tournament title.While Wood was recruited by several Division I schools for talents on the diamond, she will concentrate on her academics at University of Georgia next year, where her brother, Alex, is a pitcher on the baseball team.Pitcher of the Year: Garland Austin, Charlotte Latin. Garland Austin has accomplished nearly everything in her three-year Charlotte Latin softball career. The three-time all-state junior has accounted for nearly every Hawks win in the past three years, but the one that has eluded her is the NCISAA 3A state championship.Austin and the Hawks came up a game short of a chance at a state title this year, falling to High Point Christian in the semifinals of the NCISAA double-elimination tournament.Austin will focus her attention on a last shot a state title next year.Coach of the Year: Bob Bove, Ardrey Kell - When Bove got to Ardrey Kell three years ago, the Knights softball team had never beaten conference rivals Butler or Providence in a regular-season game."The attitude of this team (Ardrey Kell) has completely changed in my time here," Bove said. "It took a while to get there, but now this team expects to win." This year, Ardrey Kell went 19-8 overall (12-2 SW4A). The Knights were dominant most of the year, averaging nearly 10 runs per contest.The best may still be to come for the Knights who lose only two starters (Wood and Samantha Shleffar) to graduation.
Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2011
Ardrey Kell captures the local limelight
All-South Charlotte News softball
Garland Austin, Charlotte Latin: Three-time all-state pitcher led Hawks .
Taylor Lynch, Ardrey Kell: Knights ace was rock-solid, with 2.60 ERA.
Tori Burke, Charlotte Catholic: Cougars' ace led Catholic to 13 wins and 3A playoffs.
Shea Shefte, Charlotte Catholic: UNC Wilmington signee and All-ME-GA 7 catcher.
Jordan Hostetler, Ardrey Kell: Multitalented All-SW4A catcher hit .400 at plate.
Stephanie Wood, Ardrey Kell: All-state first baseman hit .550 with 30 RBI.
Taylor Freeman, Ardrey Kell: Shortstop hit .549 with 10 doubles and 25 RBI.
Morgan Henry, Charlotte Latin: All-state shortstop hit .472 this season.
Elena Covert, Providence: UNC commit earned all-state honors as Panthers shortstop.
Emily Scott, Myers Park: Mustang standout has area-best .582 batting average.
Amelia Brown, Charlotte Country Day: Freshman led Bucs' offense with a hit in nearly every game,
Erin Quant, Providence: All-SW4A pick followed in footsteps of her sister, Leah.
Alexa Grauer, Ardrey Kell: All-state junior also hit .547 on the season.
Katie Metzger, Providence Day: All-state performer led Chargers to playoffs.
Dani Monroe, Charlotte Catholic: Three-time all-conference shortstop.
Jordan Harmon, South Mecklenburg: Freshman hit .506 with two homers and 25 RBI.
Butler and Independence high schools are not in the South Charlotte News circulation area.