Who will be this year’s Miss Softball?
This week the Florida Dairy Farmers will announce their classification winners, which will help determine this year’s Miss Softball and Coach of the Year.
This past Friday, June 3, was the deadline for the media to submit their votes for the best softball player and coach in Florida among the seven classifications.
Among some of the more interesting nominees was freshman Catherine Brewer of Class 4A Stanton (Jacksonville), who batted .731 with 41 runs batted in this season, junior Jaysoni Beachum of 3A Florida High (Tallahassee), who batted .507 with 12 home runs, and sophomore Sophia Kardatzke of Class 2A state runner-up University Christian (Jacksonville), who batted .532 with a whopping 50 RBI, 15 HR’s, and 48 runs scored, but was also 19-8 in the circle with a 1.19 earned run average with 254 strikeouts in 140 innings pitched.
Other pitchers nominated who had impressive stats included sophomore Katelynn Oxley of 6A regional finalist Bartow (21-1, 0.10 ERA, 337 strikeouts in 140 IP), senior Destiny Lake of 4A region quarterfinalist Miami Springs (11-1, 0.00 ERA, 144K, 58 IP), and senior Luna Curran of Class 2A state semifinalist Oxbridge Academy (West Palm Beach), who helped lead her team to the final four in Clermont with her offense (.470, 46 RBI, 6 HR’s) and defense (22-2, 0.25 ERA, 137 IP, 299 K).
Locally, there are several players and coaches in the Mainstreet Daily News coverage area who were nominated.
Karis Smith of Suwannee (Live Oak) is among the nominees for the Class 3A Player of the Year.
Smith, the granddaughter of head coach Terry Mixon, batted .472 with 26 runs, 15 RBI, and 11 doubles. She also finished with a 2.74 ERA and 148 strikeouts in the circle.
Mixon was nominated after a 9-13 record in his first season with the Bulldogs.
Keystone Heights coach Jessica Marquart was also on the list after leading the Indians (19-10) to the Region 1-3A finals, falling at Baldwin, 3-2, on May 20.
There were several area nominees in Class 1A as Fort White and Dixie County (Cross City) both made their first state semifinal appearances in program history.
Fort White freshman Kadence Compton was nominated for the 1A POY.
Compton was 16-6 with a 1.66 ERA with 212 strikeouts in 144 innings pitched. She also batted .388 for the state runners-up with 18 RBI and four home runs, including the game-winner against Dixie County in a 7-5 win in the state semifinals.
“She just hits spots,” said Fort White co-head coach Michele Padgett, who was nominated for 1A COY, after helping lead the Indians, along with husband, Chad, to their first final four in softball in school history.
Three teams from Columbia County advanced to their first final four in program history this year – Fort White softball and baseball, and Columbia (Lake City) baseball.
“It’s a big deal,” said Chad Padgett. “For a small county like ours, you don’t see that very often. I’m proud of our baseball team, Columbia’s baseball team, and our girls.”
Dixie County junior pitcher Bria Hinkle was nominated for 1A POY too after the junior helped lead the Bears to their first final four in program history by winning 13 of her 14 decisions with a 0.91 ERA (13-1, 108 IP, 130K).
Hinkle also batted .440 with 21 runs scored and 33 RBI with seven doubles and six triples.
Dixie County coach Greg Wimberley was also among the 1A coach of the year nominees following a 21-5 season and first-ever final four appearance.
Jim Godwin, the head coach of Union County (Lake Butler), was also nominated. The Tigers (18-6) lost at Fort White, 4-0, in the Class 1A-Region 3 Final on May 17 as Compton struck out 14 batters in the win.
The Class 1A state semifinal game between Dixie County and Fort White was broadcast on Mainstreet Daily News (audio broadcast). The game broadcast is archived online.