In recent years we have recognized the best high school baseball and softball players in the county in a variety of different ways. We’ve had All-County Most Valuable Players and MVP runners-up. We’ve had individual team MVPs and Honorable Mentions. We’ve even had some winners in special superlative categories, but this year we’re changing it up again with a pair of top ten lists.
With so many talented players in the county this year, however, it was incredibly difficult to whittle the list down to just ten in both sports. For this reason we are also including five honorable mentions at the end of both lists, but even with those additions there were still plenty names that had to be left off. Names that could have very easily made it onto most any top ten players list in and around southeast Kentucky.
While overall team success was a factor in the selection process, other criteria included individual batting and, when applicable, pitching statistics, and we also tried to consider how an athlete might have positively influenced his or her team in ways that do not show up in a box score or cumulative stat report.
So, without further ado, on to the lists…
2019 All-County Top Ten (Softball)
1. Lindsey Shope – Jr, Whitley Co: .374 batting average in 33 games as a hitter. Struck out a total of 227 batters in 195 innings pitched. Led the Lady Colonels to 17 wins in 2019, including a 50th District championship victory and an appearance in the 13th Region tournament semifinals.
2. Shelby Stewart – So, Corbin: .446 batting average in 25 games as a hitter. Struck out 42 batters in 58.2 total innings pitched. Helped lead the Lady Hounds to 11 wins and an appearance in the 2019 13th Region tournament.
3. Baylee Wilson – Jr, Whitley Co: Lady Colonels’ leading run scorer. Second-most hits on the year with 45, and second-most RBIs with 26.
4. Hannah Rains – Jr, Whitley Co: Team-best batting average of .394 through 29 games. Led the Lady Colonels in RBIs with 27.
5. Whitney Trosper – Jr, Corbin: .424 batting average through 25 games. Led the Lady Hounds in runs scored on the season with 29.
6. Sarah Stewart – Sr, Corbin: Third-most hits on the team with 31. Tied with Shelby Stewart for most RBIs on the year with 20.
7. Allison Neace – Sr, Whitley Co: .350 batting average through 33 games. Catcher.
8. Adrianna Paul – Jr, Corbin: .227 average as a hitter, but did most of the work for the Lady Hounds in the pitching circle in 2019, striking out 59 batters in 95.2 total innings pitched.
9. Jezni Huddleston – Sr, Whitley Co: .310 batting average through 34 games. Tied with Lindsey Shope for second-most runs scored on the year with 24.
10. Alayna Reynolds – Fr, Corbin: .348 batting average through 23 games.
Softball Honorable Mentions: Katie Powers, So. from Whitley Co; Kallie Housley, 8th grade from Whitley Co; Bailey Stewart, 8th grade from Corbin; Kaila Stidham, Fr. from Corbin; Harleigh Grubb, Sr. from Corbin
2019 All-County Top Ten (Baseball)
1. Chase Estep – Sr, Corbin: Before leaving Corbin to put on UK Wildcat blue next season, Estep led the Hounds to a region best 29-11 win-loss record, including a second consecutive 13th Region championship title. He finished with a team-best .512 batting average, including 62 hits and 42 RBIs. He homered eight times in 2019.
2. Noah Taylor – Sr, Corbin: Another senior slugger for the Redhounds this season, Taylor finished with a .426 batting average, leading the team in RBIs with 46.
3. Jonathon Watson – Sr, Whitley Co: Was the Colonels’ hits leader this spring with 44. He also scored a team-high 47 runs on the year. Helped lead Whitley to a 25-10 overall record.
4. Austin Reynolds – Sr, Corbin: Senior catcher finished with a .327 batting average through 39 games.
5. Caleb Rains – Sr, Whitley Co: Boasts the Colonels’ top batting average this season with a .443 through 35 games. Homered five times.
6. Caden Petrey – Fr, Whitley Co: All-around playmaker for the Colonels, finishing with a .385 batting average and a 2.03 ERA as a pitcher. Led the team in strikeouts with a total of 53 in 48.1 innings on the mound.
7. Cole Hicks – Jr, Corbin: Spent the most time on the pitching mound for the Redhounds in 2019, striking out a total of 55 batters in 54 innings of work.
8. Cam Allen – Jr, Corbin: Reliable as a hitter and pitcher. Finished just behind Hicks with 54 strikeouts in 49.1 innings on the mound.
9. Chase Harlan – Jr, Whitley Co: Finished season with .336 batting average through 35 games.
10. Chance Dismuke – Jr, Whitley Co: Efficient as a hitter and a pitcher for the Colonels, finishing with a .388 batting average and a 3.03 ERA.
Baseball Honorable Mentions: Cameron Bowen, Sr. from Williamsburg; Jimmy Green, Sr. from Whitley Co; Luke Wohlfarth, Sr. from Whitley Co; Ben Phillips, Jr. from Corbin; Christian Gosselin, Sr. from Corbin