A year after coming up just short of reaching Columbus, the Calhoun Yellow Jackets not only got to the state finals, but once there refused to lose grabbing the Class AA State Title.

Along the way, Calhoun compiled a perfect region record, finishing the year 33-6 overall.

Needless to say the Yellow Jackets were loaded with talent, but even on their roster, two players stood out for the Jackets, Kinsey Liscio and Taylor Kelly.

Liscio, a sophomore, was deadly whenever she took to the circle, compiling a 17-3 record on the season. She struck out 181 batters and had an ERA of 1.65, allowing only 69 hits and 27 earned runs.

While Liscio struck fear in opposing batters, opposing pitchers had to be quaking when junior shortstop Taylor Kelly stepped into the batters’ box.

Kelly mashed 11 home runs on the season going along with her .548 batting average and 55 RBIs. She also had 63 hits, scored 46 ruins and stole 11 bases for the Jackets.

The dominant duo has received numerous honors this season and are the co-players of the year for the Rome News-Tribune All-Area Softball Team.

The duo each played a big part in Calhoun’s run to the Class AA state title and had big moments in perhaps the biggest win in Columbus.

Trailing Heard County 3-1 late in the semifinal game, Kelly and teammate Ashlyn Barnes scored on an error to tie the game. The Jackets took the lead and Liscio struck out two batters in the final inning to seal the win.

As scary as the duo has been in 2013, local teams have anther scary thought to occupy them over the off-season, both players return to the field for the Jackets next year.


First Team

Ryan Brzuzoski — Calhoun

The freshman left fielder compiled a .585 batting average for the Yellow Jackets. She had 69 hits, 38 stolen bases, scored 51 runs and had four triples for the Class AA State Champions

Jana Johns — Calhoun

Johns compiled a .442 batting average for the Jackets. She had four home runs, 44 RBIs, 39 runs and 16 stolen bases for the Class AA State Champions.

Alyssa Shawgo — Calhoun

The senior hurler was tough to hit every time she pitched. In 101 innings pitched she struck out 94 batters, allowed 66 hits and 37 runs for an ERA of 1.73, while compiling a 13-3 record for the Yellow Jackets.

Ava Tillman — Cedartown

Tillman had a great year for the Bulldogs, compiling a 1.88 ERA and striking out 207 batters. She also had 27 hits and compiled a .360 batting average.

Kalli Smith — Rockmart

Smith compiled an 11-1 record for the Yellow Jackets this season. She struck out 46 batters and had an ERA of 0.96 helping lead the Jackets to Columbus.

Cassidy Faulk — Rockmart

Faulk led the Yellow Jackets in home runs with five, while compiling a .424 batting average. She had 50 hits, scored 45 runs and had 26 RBIs.

Baylee Williams — Rockmart

Williams compiled a .437 batting average for the year for the Yellow Jackets. She had 45 hits, scored 33 runs and recorded 30 RBIs.

Mallory Wade — Coosa

“Mallory Wade is a junior and played 3rd base for us this year. Considering we did not produce a lot offensively, Mallory took advantage of every opportunity she had to drive in runs for us. She was consistent and was pretty much our offense this year,” Coosa coach Gus Bell says.

Wade had a .409 batting average, collecting 27 hits, scoring 16 runs, hitting eight doubles and collecting 17 RBIs along with one home run on the season.

Lily Hayes — Sonoraville

Hayes compiled a 1.94 ERA with 129 strikeouts and a record of 8-15. Offensively, she had a .347 batting average, with 19 RBIs, five doubles, three triples and two home runs.

Krysta Adams — Chattooga

“Krysta batted .333 With 7 doubles and 17 RBI’S. Krysta has been our number 1 pitcher for 4 years — this year she was 13-13 with a era 1.50 — she pitched 161 innings 150 strike outs 53 walks.

“In the last 4 years she has won 63 games for us she has been our workhorse — last year she was co-pitcher of the year — Krysta also won our Lady Indian Award this year,” Chattooga coach Jeff Bennet says.

Casey Padgett — Pepperell

Padgett led the Dragons with a .405 batting average this season and also led the team with 30 hits. She scored 31 runs, stole 16 bases and had 11 RBIs as well for the Dragons who reached the Class AA Playoffs.

Hannah Murray — Armuchee

The sophomore pitcher had a 14-9 record in the circle for the Indians this season, striking out 181 batters and compiling a 2.68 ERA. Offensively, she batted .318 with 21 hits, scoring 19 runs and seven RBIs.

Bailey Jackson — Pepperell

Jackson struck out 62 batters. On offense, she batted .373 with 25 hits, seven doubles and 22 RBIs.

Allison Acker — Armuchee

The senior shortstop led the Indians with 33 hits. She compiled a .333 batting average, scoring 22 runs and recording 11 RBIs.

Korei Perry — Chattooga

“Korei’s batting average this year was .422, an OBP. 491. She had 8 doubles, one triple, 10 RBI’S and 35 stolen bases (which is a school record). In four years as a starter she had 90 stolen bases. Perry was a Gold Glove Award winner three times and this year won our highest batting average. “Korei has been a big part of our success at Chattooga,” Chattooga coach Jeff Bennett says.

Destiny Adams — Rome

The senior was Rome’s starting pitcher and also played shortstop. She had a .283 batting average on the season with 21 hits, four doubles, scored nine runs and had 12 RBIs for the Lady Wolves.

Emily Thurmond — Darlington

Thurmond led the Tigers with a .418 batting average. She had 41 hits, four home runs and 40 RBIs, helping lead the Tigers to Columbus for the second-straight season.

Kayla Riley — Darlington

Riley led the Tigers with five home runs on the season. She batted .394 with 37 hits and 29 RBIs.

Arden Babb — Darlington

Babb batted .355 for the Tigers with 38 hits, and 18 RBIs.

Second team

Rachel Nichols — Chattoga

Abbey Tudor — Chattooga

Erin Whitlock — Sonoraville

Kendal Boyd — Pepperell

Jessica Arnold — Pepperell

Claire Tibbetts — Armuchee

Payton Carter — Armuchee

Raleigh Fitch — Calhoun

Emily Weatherman — Calhoun

Kristen Harris — Cedartown

Cassidy Davis — Cedartown

Hayden Claypool — Cedartown

Heather Faust — Coosa

Brittany Strickland — Rome

Regan Whitaker — Rockmart

Anne Marie Robinson — Rockmart

Morgan Sidwell — Darlington

Emily Swafford — Darlington

Honorable Mention

Summer Jones — Chattooga

Jessica Burkhalter — Pepperell

Wimberly Roe — Calhoun

Ashlyn Barnes — Calhoun

Hayden Claypool — Cedartown

Alexis Cloud — Darlington

Lillie Bertlekamp — Darlington