Hickory head coach wins award after
Red Tornadoes finish in sixth place
By CHRIS HOBBS
After producing a West 4A finalist and a state 3A runner-up, the Northwestern 3A-4A’s softball head coaches had a tough time picking the league’s top player.
They voted to give the award to three players from three schools: senior Regan Weisner of league champion South Caldwell, senior Jessica Cannon of McDowell and junior Chesney Stikeleather of Alexander Central.
South Caldwell went 12-0 in the conference to win the title and reached the West 4A final before falling to East Forsyth.
Second-place Alexander Central, 10-2 in league games, won the West 3A crown and fell in the best-of-3 state championship series to Southern Alamance.
League coaches voted sophomore Kadie Becker of South Caldwell as Pitcher of the Year and selected Chad Puett, who guided Hickory to a sixth-place finish, as the Coach of the Year.
Weisner, who will play college softball for North Carolina, hit .600 for the Spartans this season with five home runs and 18 RBIs while Cannon hit .486 for McDowell with three home runs and drove in 12 runs.
Stikeleather’s statistics were not available.
Becker went 10-1 for South Caldwell with an ERA of 1.42. She walked 13 and struck out 88, and in 74 innings pitched allowed only 15 earned runs. Opponents hit .177 against her.
The head coaches tabbed 31 players for all-conference, led by 10 picks from South Caldwell and eight from Alexander Central.
ALL-NORTHWESTERN 3A-4A SOFTBALL
(as voted by conference head coaches)
FINAL STANDINGS: 1. S. Caldwell 12-0; 2. Alexander Central 10-2; 3. McDowell 7-5; 4. St. Stephens 6-6; 5. Watauga 4-8; 6. Hickory 3-9; 7. Freedom 0-12.
Alexander Central: Chesney Stikeleather, Faith Carrigan, Ava Chapman, Kirstyn Herman, Kenzie Church, Peyton Price, Kara Hinkle, Abby Teague
Freedom: Mikhayla Lingafelt
Hickory: Abby Puett
McDowell: Madi Smith, Lucy Hames, Abby Wright, Gracie Rice, Avery Jordan, Jessica Cannon
St. Stephens: Mayson Lail, Macey Pennell, Zoey Boston
S. Caldwell: Regan Weisner, Clara Hanson, Kaylee Anderson, Zoey Shatley, Kenley Jackson, Chloe Phillips, Kadie Becker, Addison Blair, Jasmine Hall, Maddie Carpenter
Watauga: Linley Garwood, Mattie Smith.
Player of the Year: Regan Weisner, S. Caldwell; Jessica Cannon, McDowell; Chesney Stikeleather, Alexander Central
Pitcher of the Year: Kadie Becker, S. Caldwell
Coach of the Year: Chad Puett, Hickory