During the last decade, the Lake Norman area has established itself as one of the best softball regions in the state for both individual and team talent.
Either Lake Norman or North Mecklenburg has been to at least the 4A state quarterfinal round for the past three straight seasons.
This year was no different, as the Wildcats and the Vikings again spent most of the season in the state's top 10 rankings.
Lake Norman won the I-Meck regular season title and finished the season 25-3 overall, before making it to the third round of the 4A playoffs.
The Wildcats had seven all-conference players, led by all-state players Kayla Pine (12-2, 1.24 ERA) and Stacey Houser (.453, three home runs).
Meanwhile, North Meck went 24-4 overall, won the I-Meck tournament and advanced to the third round of the 4A playoffs before losing to eventual state champion Alexander Central.
The Vikings were led by two of the best players in the state in All-American catcher Sarah Mooney, who had an eye-popping 19 home runs and 55 RBI, and All I-Meck pitcher Morgan Lashley, who also dominated opponents with a 20-4 record on the mound, where she recorded 301 strikeouts.
While the Wildcats and Vikings dominated the I-Meck, Hopewell (16-6) and Mooresville (10-8) were also solid playoffs teams. The Titans and Blue Devils boasted two of the top pitchers in the state in Hopewell's Lindsey Russell and Mooresville's Margaret Whitestone.
East Lincoln also stood out, overcoming a slow start to win 10 straight Southern Piedmont conference games to win the league title. The Mustangs (15-9), led by SPC coach of the year Mike Freeman, lost in the first round of the playoffs to a talented Forest Hills' team.
Lake Norman softball player of the year: Sarah Mooney, North Mecklenburg
When Sarah "Boomer" Mooney steps to the plate, she expects to make something happen. This year, the North Meck senior catcher did just that on nearly every at-bat.
The three-time all-state senior was exceptional all season, hitting .779 for the year with a state-best 19 home runs while also hitting 55 RBIs.
Mooney, who will play at James Madison next year, led her team to 24 wins and an I-Meck tournament title.
Lake Norman pitcher of the year: Margaret Whitestone, Mooresville
Margaret Whitestone is dedicated to winning. For the last four years, that is what she has been doing as Mooresville's top pitcher.
The senior added to her impressive resume this season, earning I-Meck Pitcher of the Year honors while leading the Blue Devils to a 10-8 record and a berth in the 4A playoffs.
Whitestone was an All-I-Meck, all-region and all-state selection in 2010.
Lake Norman Coach of the year: Bob Hall, Lake Norman
Bob Hall came to Lake Norman prior to last season expecting to create a winning tradition. Hall and the Wildcats have been doing that with one of the best teams in the state, going 51-6 in that span.
After going 26-3 and advancing to the 4A state quarterfinals in his first season, Hall and company were nearly as good in 2011, going 25-3 before falling in a 2-1 heartbreaker to Porter Ridge.
Hall also led his team to a I-Meck regular season title this year.
All-Lake Norman softball team
Morgan Lashley, North Meck: Army signee went 20-4 with 0.97 ERA and 301 strikeouts.
Lindsey Russel l, Hopewell: Pfeiffer-bound ace led Titans, also hit .464 at plate.
Margaret Whitestone, Mooresville: I-Meck Pitcher of the Year also hit .383 with two homers.
Kayla Pine, Lake Norman: Wildcats' top pitcher went 12-2 with 1.24 ERA and .444 batting average.
Brittany Miller, East Lincoln: All-conference pitcher also hit .409 with 26 RBI.
Sarah Mooney, North Meck: Senior's numbers don't even look real at .779, 19 home runs and 55 RBI.
Kayla McGuffey, Lake Norman: Leader behind plate also hit .458 with team-best 38 hits.
Dominique Wilson, Lake Norman: Sophomore already coming through with .403, five home runs, 27 RBIs this year.
Stacey Houser, Lake Norman: Wildcat looked just as good at shortstop and at the plate, hitting .453 and three home runs.
Chelsea Parton, North Meck: All-I-Meck senior also a standout in the classroom with 4.4 GPA.
Katelyn Shifflert, Hough: Freshman led Huskies in nearly every offensive category.
Hannah Foret, North Meck: Multi-talented player was key on offense and defense for Vikings.
Chloe Archer, Lake Norman: Another standout Wildcats, she hit .417 and 22 RBI.
Veronica Dziuk, Southlake Christian: Sophomore hit .453 with six home runs.
Hanna Hasker, Lake Norman Charter: Sophomore co-captain, catcher hit .489 on the year.
Kelsey Clark, Mooresville: Multi-talented sophomore hit .519 with three homers.
Breanna Blakely, Hopewell: Senior catcher led Hopewell with three home runs.