October 31, 2002
Four Lady Tigers Earn Tri-Rivers All-Conference Softball Honors
Logic would indicate that coming off its most successful season in nearly a decade the Scotland County softball team would also experience prosperity in the postseason honors department.
For Scotland County fans that's where the logic ended as far as the Tri-Rivers Conference all-league awards were concerned, at least as far as the top honors were concerned.
The Lady Tigers had not one, but two players capable of taking home league most valuable player honors.
At the same time another honor that evaded Scotland County was the coach of the year award, as first year leader Terri Slaughter easily could have taken home the honor after leading SCR-I to a third place finish in the league, during a year her team also beat both of the top two teams in the league.
Scotland County pitcher Sara Eggleston may have lost out on the MVP honor because of her age. The junior hurler received the third highest vote total in the balloting, trailing two seniors.
Eggleston had the numbers to back up an MVP award, pitching her team to a 16-6 mark. Over 167 innings of work, Sara struck out 190 batters while allowing only 94 hits. She walked 43 batters during the year on her way to a 0.48 earned run average (ERA). Top that all off with not one, not two, but three games in which she pitched 11 innings allowing her team to win all three extra-inning marathons.
The knock against her may have been a very respectable .257 batting average. The Lady Tigers leadoff hitter experienced a drop off at the play after a stellar campaign in 2001. Despite the lower batting average, Eggleston did her job with a .485 on base percentage. Getting on base nearly every other plate appearance helped set the table for the SCR-I offense. She crossed the plate 14 times during the year.
If the voters were biased towards batting statistics then SCR-I had another candidate to foot the bill. Not only did Meagan Fromm sport a .406 batting average against some of the toughest pitching in Missouri high school softball, she's a senior too to alleviate the age issue.
Fromm recorded 26 hits in 64 at bats on her way to leading her team with 12 runs batted in (RBI) as well. Top that off with seven stolen bases and 13 runs scored and you have one of the league's best offensive weapons. Fromm also fit the MVP mold on defense as well where she held down the shortstop position making plays all season long.
League voters should have had a good feel for Fromm as she lit up the Tri-Rivers Conference. In six conference games Fromm hit a sizzling .546.
The only logical answer is that two top level players on one team made it difficult for the league coaches to decide who was more valuable to her team, let alone the league and instead went with Schuyler County's top player, senior shortstop Katie Roberts for the league MVP honor. (Roberts was injured and did not play when the Rams came to Memphis for the conference game between SCR-I and Schuyler County.)
While there seem to be plenty of compelling stats for both players, it's a simple argument that Slaughter should have been coach of the year. One year after going 6-12 she improved her team to 16-6 and was just one run away from a district title.
Both Putnam County and Knox County were expected to finish at the top of the conference. However SCR-I beat Knox County twice during the year and also beat Putnam County in a non-conference extra inning thriller. The Lady Tigers finished third in the conference with a 5-2 mark after spending 2001 in the league cellar, finishing last with a 1-6 record.
Instead the league coaches split the 2002 honor between Putnam County coach Mike Schmidli and Knox County leader Bob Curtis.
While Scotland County did not come home with any of the top honors, the team did have four of the top 25 players in the league according to the coaches.
Two Scotland County players earned second team honors. Senior second baseman Amy Blomme led the Lady Tigers with 12 stolen bases after hitting .246 on the year. She stepped up her hitting in conference play finishing with a .350 batting average in the seven league games.
Brandi Mallett joined her on the second team. The junior catcher was third on the team with eight RBI after hitting .254. She too had a better stretch in conference play, with a .333 batting average. She also was one of the hardest catchers to steal against in the league.
Katie Roberts, Sr. Schuyler County
Marci McMahon, Sr. Knox County
Eggleston, Jr. Scotland County
Katie McMahon, So. Knox County
Courtnee Ream, Jr. Putnam County
Fromm, Sr. Scotland County
Katie Fowler, Jr. Putnam Co.
Ashlee Wallingford, Fr. Clark County
Andrea Severa, Sr. Brookfield
Lesley Paalhar, Sr. Brookfield
Gina Eckler, Sr. North Shelby
Alicia Vestal, Sr. Putnam County
Julie Gares, Sr. Clark County
Jessica Bolte, So. North Shelby
Shay Williams, Sr. Putnam Co.
Jessica Taylor, Sr. Milan
Kea Beeler, Sr. Schuyler County
Devon Hagerla, Jr. Knox County
Amy Blomme, Sr. Scotland County
Kayla Lindsey, Sr. North Shelby
Jessy Wilkinson, Sr. Milan
Ashley Roberts, Jr. Clark County
Lauren Stansberry, So. Knox County
Brandi Mallett, Jr. Knox County
Haley Montgomery, So. Putnam County
Whitney Henderson, Sr. Brookfield.
Alicia Brown, Sr. Schuyler County
Camil Parsons, Jr. North Shelby
Emily Reeves, Sr. Knox County
Jenika Tucker, Sr. Putnam County
Kayla Tucker, Sr. Milan
Tania March, Jr. Schuyler County