Holland leads Lady ‘Cats’ all-KVL honors
Basehor-Linwood ace 1 of 3 Lady Bobcats named to all-league postseason squad
After the BLHS softball team made it to the state playoffs this year, there was really no doubt that they would also be receiving a few votes for all-league nominations. Despite coming home from Salina empty handed, the Lady Bobcats had three players make the All-Kaw Valley team this season.
Looking at the numbers the 3-5 hitters in the line up recorded for the Lady Bobcats, it's no surprise that all three of them made the All-Kaw Valley squad: sophomore Erin Shore, second team outfielder; Junior Kristal Holland, first team pitcher; and freshman Chelsea Patton, first team infielder.
Combined, these three helped carry the Lady Bobcats all the way to the first round of the state playoffs, where they lost to Chapman.
"We established a really good group of players and just seemed to click this year," Bobcat coach Susan Mayberry said. "We made it work, we all got along and we haven't had that in the last four years."
With this season's team consisting of mostly freshman and sophomores, Mayberry is hoping that her team's winning attitude will carry over to next season.
A big reason why the Lady Bobcats were so solid was the leadership that the team's best players exemplified.
Left-fielder Shore finished the season with a .368 batting average, a vast improvement from last season. She scored 14 runs and batted in 13. Her slugging percentage was .426, and she was on base more than 50 percent of the time. Out of 68 at bats, she only struck out four times, and most of her hits came with one or more outs. Shore was also the only Lady Bobcat to be flawless in the field, finishing the season with no errors.
"Erin worked really hard in the off season, and it obviously paid off," Mayberry said. "She was just all around consistent in her attitude and the way she played the game."
It's rare to find that an underclassman makes first team all-league, but this year Chelsea Patton was the exception. Patton was the only freshman to make it to the first team this season, and her numbers speak for themselves.
Patton, who batted third in the line-up for the Lady Bobcats, finished with a .277 batting average, .538 slugging and a .459 on base percentage. She scored 21 runs and drove in 12 of her own. She had 18 hits and three home runs, but none were bigger than in the semi-final game of regionals, where she tied the ball game in the bottom of the ninth with a solo shot over the left field wall.
On the defensive side, Patton committed only four errors and recorded 25 putouts and 30 assists.
"It's pretty difficult for a freshman to make first team," Mayberry said. "But Chelsea deserved the recognition that she got. Her competitiveness and will to compete is what made her so good. She hated to fail."
Both Patton and Shore may have been leaders by their actions on the field, but when it came down to it, the Lady Bobcats all rallied around their ace Holland.
Holland took it upon herself to lead this young group of girls early on in the season, and Mayberry couldn't have been happier.
"She really broke through as our leader; about six games in, she took over," Mayberry said. "The things that she said to teammates or to the team brought us along in the direction that we needed to go. The team wanted to follow her and so did I."
Holland batted .343 for the season with 15 RBI's, a slugging percentage of .552 and an on base percentage of .557, adding two home runs. Although her numbers at the plate may have been enough to give her the all league nod by themselves, it was her pitching that was most brilliant.
Holland faced 573 batters this season and only gave up 86 hits. She finished the season 15-7, pitching in every game the Lady Bobcats played. She struck out 198 batters, averaging nine per game. Though 46 runs were scored off of Holland, only 13 of those were earned, giving her a .58 ERA.
Unless a professional softball league starts drafting BLHS players from high school, all three of these all-leaguers will be returning for the Bobcats. With the all-league honors and state playoff experience, the Lady Bobcats will be a tough team to beat next season.