Spring Garden softball was once again among the elite Class 1A teams in 2017. The Lady Panthers won the Class 1A, Area 10 tournament title, claimed the Class 1A North Central Regional in Tuscaloosa, then finished fourth at the state tournament in Montgomery with an overall record of 29-18.
Three key members of that run were sophomore shortstop Payton McGinnis, junior pitcher Kerstin Bryant and junior third baseman Payton Traffanstedt. All three players recently received all-state recognition from the Alabama Sports Writers Association.
McGinnis was a first-team selection at short, while Bryant earned a spot at utility on the second team. Traffanstedt took one of the second-team designated hitter spots.
In all, 12 area athletes received all-state softball recognition. The teams were released late Friday evening.
McGinnis batted .489 with 20 doubles, eight home runs, four triples, 16 stolen bases, 14 walks, 14 hit-by-pitches, 45 runs and 65 RBIs. Bryant batted .459 with 19 doubles, four home runs, four triples, 10 walks, 41 runs and 60 RBIs. She was also 24-15 in the circle with 90 strikeouts and a 4.03 ERA in 189 2/3 innings pitched. Traffanstedt batted .409 with 12 doubles, seven home runs, a triple, 19 walks 45 runs and 40 RBIs.
The Cedar Bluff Lady Tigers (18-24) had a pair of honorable mention players in freshman outfielder Madison Allen and freshman catcher Alexis Smith. Smith earned her honorable mention at designated hitter.
Allen batted .434 with 13 doubles, three home runs, three triples, 14 stolen bases, 44 runs and 29 RBIs. Smith batted .512 with 13 doubles, five home runs, three triples, 14 stolen bases, 10 walks, 42 runs and 34 RBIs.
Collinsville (38-17) and Sand Rock (21-21) were well represented on the Class 2A teams. Sand Rock sophomore Brylie St. Clair and Collinsville freshman Brittany Rivera earned spots in the first-team outfield. Collinsville senior third baseman Aryelle Jones claimed a spot as a first-team designated hitter.
St. Clair, the Lady Wildcats' center fielder and leadoff hitter, batted .599 with eight doubles, three triples, a home run, 41 stolen bases, 51 runs and 20 RBIs. Rivera posted a .457 average with 16 doubles, 13 home runs, three triples, 63 runs and 59 RBIs. Jones batted .345 with 19 doubles, 14 home runs, a pair of triples, 30 walks, 58 runs and 79 RBIs.
Sand Rock senior pitcher Magen Rich earned a second-team spot in the circle, while junior teammate Paige Norris claimed a second-team spot at designated hitter.
Rich went 21-21 in the circle with 211 strikeouts and a 3.71 ERA. She also batted .383 with nine doubles, nine home runs, a triple, scored nine runs and had 44 RBIs. Norris collected a .591 batting average with a pair of doubles, 26 stolen bases, 47 runs scored and 21 RBIs.
Collinsville also had a pair of honorable mention players - both at utility - in senior outfielder Mary Patton and eighth grade first baseman Caroline Brannon.
Patton posted a .371 batting average with 16 doubles, seven home runs, three triples, 18 stolen bases, 75 runs and 51 RBIs. Brannon batted .368 with 21 doubles, six home runs, a pair of triples, 38 walks, 71 runs and 50 RBIs.
The complete ASWA All-State Softball Teams list can be found at www.northwestgeorgianews.com/cherokee_county.