The Pilot Grove Lady Tigers softball team once again punched its ticket to the postseason by winning its third district title in four years.
But unlike last year as the Lady Tigers made it all the way to the championship game in Class 1, the Salisbury Panthers ended Pilot Grove’s season in the quarterfinal round with a 10-1 victory.
The Lady Tigers, however, still managed to finish the 2018 season with the best record in the area at 23-4 overall and 7-0 in the Central Activities. As for Boonville and New Franklin, they had down years by finishing at 8-15 and 5-15 overall, respectively.
Of course coaches in the area still thought enough of the talent in the area to select 18 players to the all-district team-six of which were repeaters from last year with nine named to the first team, eight to the second team and one honorable mention.
Heading the first team from the surrounding area were Jamie Lemmons of Boonville, Samarah Bailey, Melanie Wolfe, Emily Schupp, Natalie Rentel and Abby Schupp of Pilot Grove and Lauren Evans, Alexia Sprick and Kayce Hundley of New Franklin.
Second team selections were Josie Robb, Emma West and Bryanna Jones of Boonville, Reagan McFatrich and Grace Phillips of Pilot Grove and Abygale  Maupin, Lindsey Brown and Madelyn Chaney of New Franklin. Boonville’s Daylynn Baker was selected honorable mention.
The following is a brief of each area player selected to the all-district team:
BOONVILLE
Jamie Lemmons, Sr.
Catcher/first baseman
A four-year starter for the Lady Pirates softball team, senior Jamie Lemmons did what many people thought she would do in 2018 by hitting for average and power. While leading the team with a .532 hitting clip, Lemmons also finished the season with 25 hits in 47 at bats in only 16 games with 16 singles, six doubles, a team-leading six home runs, 16 RBIs and 15 runs scored.
She also had her best game of the season against Odessa by going 4-for-4 with three singles, home run, two RBIs and two runs scored.
Josie Robb, Sr.
Outfielder
A two-year starter for Boonville in center field, Robb hit No. 2 in the lineup  and finished the season with a .333 average with 25 hits in 75 at bats with 21 singles, four doubles, eight RBIs and 19 runs scored.
Robb also had her best game of the season against Dixon in the Versailles Tournament by finishing 3-for-5 with two singles, one double, two RBIs and one run scored.
Bryanna Jones, Jr.
Third base
Boonville junior Bryanna Jones was one of the few constants this season at third base while hitting .325 with 25 hits in 77 at bats with 24 singles, one double, 16 RBIs and eight runs scored.
Jones also had her best game of the season in a Tri-County Conference game against Hallsville by finishing 3-for-5 with three singles and two RBIs.
Emma West, Fr.
Pitcher/Designated hitter
The future definitely looks bright for Boonville freshman Emma West whether its pitching or playing the designated hitter role.
While finishing the season with a .372 average with 16 hits in 43 at bats with 13 singles, three doubles, 11 RBIs and three runs scored, West was also one of the main pitchers for the Lady Pirates toward the end of the season by finishing 4-4 with an ERA of 5.143. In 49 innings pitched, West gave up 58 runs (36 earned) on 68 hits and 33 walks while striking out 35 batters.
As a hitter, West’s best game during the season came against New Franklin as she went 2-for-3 with a single, double, one RBI and one run scored.
Daylynn Baker, So.
Outfielder
Boonville sophomore Daylynn Baker came on strong this past season for the Lady Pirates while playing both right field and left field.
While hitting .370 for the season with 17 hits in 46 at bats, Baker also had 14 singles, three doubles, eight RBIs and 15 runs scored. The sophomore standout also led the team with 16 stolen bases for the season.
As for Baker’s best game of the season, the outfielder went 3-for-3 with three singles, three RBIs and three runs scored.
PILOT GROVE
Melanie Wolfe, Sr.
Catcher
From her freshman season to her senior year, nobody improved more as a hitter than Pilot Grove’s Melanie Wolfe.
While starting all four years in her career for the Lady Tigers, Wolfe may have had her best season overall in 2018 while hitting .468 with 36 hits in 77 at bats with 14 singles, nine doubles, a team-leading 13 home runs and 46 RBIs. She also scored 26 runs.
However the one thing that stands out about Wolfe is her team-leading .588 on base percentage and a slugging percentage of 1.091.
For the season, Wolfe had her best game against the Jamestown Lady Eagles while going 4-for-5 with three singles, home run, four RBIs and two runs scored.
Emily Schupp, Sr.
Infielder
Pilot Grove senior Emily Schupp will be a big piece of the puzzle missing next year for the Lady Tigers after holding down the shortstop position for the last four seasons.
A four-time all-district selection along with Wolfe and pitcher Samarah Bailey, Schupp was also the team’s lead off hitter. And for good reason. While finishing second only to Wolfe in hitting with a .462 clip, Schupp also had a team leading 43 hits in 93 at bats along with 18 singles and 14 doubles. She also had seven triples, four home runs and 20 RBIs not to mention that she led the team in stolen bases with 15.
As for her best game of the season, Schupp went 4-for-4 against Cairo with two singles, two doubles, one RBI while scoring two runs.
Samarah Bailey, Sr.
Pitcher
While leading the team to its first ever Final Four last year, Pilot Grove pitcher Samarah Bailey was back for an encore in 2018.
Of course Bailey’s numbers this season are better than in 2017 while finishing 21-4 with an ERA of .603. Bailey also pitched 151 innings and gave up just 40 runs (13 earned) on 79 hits and 20 walks while striking out a school record 318 batters.
Bailey also proved that she could hit the ball while finishing the season with a .349 average with 29 hits in 83 at bats with 15 singles, nine doubles, five home runs, 20 RBIs and 27 runs scored.
Bailey’s best game of the season at the plate came against Iberia, as she went 3-for-4 with three singles.
Natalie Rentel, Jr.
Infielder
Natalie Rentel returned for her second season at first base for the Lady Tigers.
While finishing the season with a .329 average with 26 hits in 79 at bats, Rentel also had 16 singles, eight doubles, two home runs, 20 RBIs and 18 runs scored.
As for her best game of the season, Rentel went 3-for-4 against Leeton with one single, two doubles, one RBI and two runs scored.
Abby Schupp, Jr.
Outfielder
A first timer on the all-district team, Schupp definitely possessed the ability to run down fly balls this season for the Lady Tigers.
While starting in the outfield last year in the run to the Final Four, Schupp managed to pick up where she left off by finishing the season with a .279 clip with 24 hits in 86 at bats with 22 singles, two doubles and 13 RBIs.
Schupp also had her best game of the season against the Jamestown Lady Eagles while going 3-for-4 with two singles, one double and two RBIs.
Reagan McFatrich, Jr.
Infielder
Playing third base for the Lady Tigers was no small task for junior Reagan McFatrich, who was the starting outfielder in 2018.
Needless to say, McFatrich accepted the challenge with open arms and got better as the season progressed not to mention that she also hit in the middle of the lineup behind Pilot Grove’s four power hitters in Emily Schupp, Melanie Wolfe, Samarah Bailey and Natalie Rentel. Although McFatrich’s numbers don’t pop out at you, as she hit .208 with 16 hits in 77 at bats, the junior standout still managed to finish the season with 10 singles, five doubles, one triple, 15 RBIs and 16 runs scored.
McFatrich also had her best game of the season against Leeton, where she was 2-for-4 with one single, one double, one RBI and one run scored.
Grace Phillips, Fr.
Infielder
Pilot Grove freshman Grace Phillips will be remembered for her one big hit against Vienna in the sectional round of the state playoffs this past season.
With the Lady Tigers trailing 3-1 going into the bottom half of the seventh against Vienna, Phillips delivered a RBI-single to score the winning run and sent Pilot Grove to the quarterfinal round against Salisbury.
For the season, Phillips hit .237 with 19 hits in 80 at bats with 15 singles, four doubles, 12 RBIs and nine runs scored.
In that same game against Vienna, which was Phillips’ best game of the season, the freshman standout went 2-for-3 with two singles and one RBI.
NEW FRANKLIN
Lauren Evans, Sr.
Infielder
New Franklin senior Lauren Evans was a repeater on the all-district team this season for the Lady Bulldogs and rightly so.
While playing shortstop this past season, Evans hit .429 with 24 hits in 56 at-bats with 18 singles, four doubles, two triples, 11 RBIs and 18 runs scored.
Evans also had her best game of the season in the conference against Glasgow, where she was 3-for-3 with one single, two doubles and three RBIs.
Alexia Sprick, So.
Pitcher/Outfielder
New Franklin sophomore Alexia Sprick played multiple positions this past season for the Lady Bulldogs.
Whether it was pitching or playing in the outfield, Sprick seemed to always deliver while hitting .256 for the season with 10 hits in 50 at bats with seven singles, one double, two triples, seven RBIs and 13 runs scored. The right-handed hurler also finished 3-5 in the circle while giving up 58 runs (40 earned) on 46 hits and 34 walks while striking out 16 batters in 39 2/3 innings pitched.
Sprick also pitched a one-hit shutout this season against Slater while giving up just one hit and one walk while striking out two batters in three innings.
Kayce Hundley, So.
Utility player
New Franklin sophomore Kayce Hundley was selected as a utility player this past season for the Lady Bulldogs.
While listed as a catcher, third baseman and outfielder, Hundley more than held her own while hitting .429 with 18 hits in 42 at bats with 12 singles, four doubles, one triple, one home run, seven RBIs and 17 runs scored.
Hundley also had her best game of the season against Harrisburg, where she was 4-for-4 with three singles and one triple.
Lindsey Brown, Sr.
Pitcher
New Franklin senior pitcher Lindsey Brown had the team’s only no-hitter this season for the Lady Bulldogs.
While holding the Glasgow Yellowjackets hitless through four innings, Brown also struck out four batters and gave up only three walks. That game was also Brown’s best hitting game of the season as the senior standout went 2-for-3 with a single, double and three RBIs.
For the season, Brown hit .306 with 11 hits in 36 bats with 12 singles, one double, eight RBIs and six runs scored. She also finished 2-5 in the circle while striking out 24 batters in 40 2/3 innings.
Abygale Maupin, Fr.
Infielder
New Franklin freshman Abygale Maupin came on strong toward the end of the season while playing third base for the Lady Bulldogs.
While hitting .340 for the season with 16 hits in 47 at bats, Maupin also had nine singles, three doubles, four triples, eight RBIs and 13 runs scored for the Lady Bulldogs.
In the opening round of the district tournament, Maupin went 3-for-3 with two singles and one double against the Jamestown Lady Eagles.
Madelyn Chaney, So.
Infielder
As the starting second baseman this past season for the New Franklin Lady Bulldogs, sophomore Madelyn Chaney hit .325 with 13 hits in 40 at bats with 12 singles, one double, nine RBIs and 12 runs scored.
Chaney also went 2-for-3 in two games this season against Higbee and Slater with two singles and two RBIs.