The Lady Mustangs knew all along they had a special talent roaming left field and occupying the leadoff spot in the lineup for the Class AAA state runner-up.For even more justification on their …
The Lady Mustangs knew all along they had a special talent roaming left field and occupying the leadoff spot in the lineup for the Class AAA state runner-up.
For even more justification on their web-gem specialist and speedster's talent, a major honor was awarded to Carissa Frost.
The upcoming junior was named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Class AAA All-State softball team Thursday morning.
"Carissa will be very humbled by this award," Walker Valley head softball coach Lauren Limburg said. "She goes out and gives it her 110 percent every pitch and play. That's why she is so much fun to watch.
"The best thing is she isn't looking for accolades. She wants our team to win and is very selfless. She deserves this award. It shows playing the game the right way really does pay off."
With the mindset to run through a wall for her team, Frost actually did so on the biggest stage.
In the most successful season in school history on the softball diamond it was her flipping catch over the left-center field fence to take a home run away during the TSSAA State Tournament that drew even national attention.
Her heroic catch made the ESPN "Sports Center" No. 1 top play of the night and was shared all over social media.
"Our outfield this year was called the 'No Fly Zone' by our girls and fans," Limburg said. "Carissa was a huge part of that. The defensive plays she made saved so many big runs for us.
"If you watch her ESPN highlight catch you see Katelyn Howell right beside her and she is so excited for Carissa. Our team is just that way and wants to see each other succeed. It was cool to see our program on the national stage."
The Lady Mustangs finished a storybook run with a 36-11 record and one win shy of the program's fist state title in its first trip to the Class AAA state tournament.
In 2005, Walker Valley made it all the way to the state championship game in Class AA.
Frost set the tone for the lineup and led all with a .414 batting average and 63 hits.
Of her 17 extra base knocks (10 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR), one of her biggest provided a major victory over a previous national power and District 5-AAA foe.
With no score for either side and two outs in the bottom of the seventh at Larry Haney Field, Frost drove a line drive over the center field fence just to the right of the scoreboard.
The walk-off home run over Ooltewah was Walker Valley's first win over a top-tier program since May 2, 2015.
"For Carissa to walk that game off and to top Ooltewah was huge," Limburg said. "That victory gave us a huge momentum boost for our girls and it carried out the rest of the season."
A memorable win over the Lady Owls, who were later ousted by WV 5-2 in the state semifinals, came during a red-hot 17-game winning streak for the Lady Mustangs.
Frost provided damage with 36 RBIs and tied for a team-high with 51 runs scored with star shortstop and fellow sophomore Laney Harris.
Her on-base plus slugging percentage was a sky-high 1.085.
The left-handed hitter not only turned singles into doubles, but was a nightmare for opposing battery mates with 20 stolen bases.
"Offensively, she is a solid leadoff hitter," Limburg added. "She hits for average and quite a bit of pop. She is quick and has a lot of speed. She is a smart base runner and knows the game extremely well.
"Carissa has such a humble spirit and really set herself apart as a leader this year. She is a great kid."
Frost is now the second player ever to make the All-State softball team under Limburg, as Class of 2015 graduate and Lee University standout infielder Hallie Davis was the first.
The team recently celebrated its state tournament run with a "River Day" over the weekend.
Limburg believes Frost and her teammates are ready to create even more amazing memories.
"Our girls have seen what it's like and they have been there now," she said referring to the state tournament. "They definitely want to make it back. They are excited. I think if we told them the season would start tomorrow they would be ready to go."
Class AAA All-State Team
C: McKenzie Henry, William Blount, Sr.
IF: Kaylee Hewitt, Riverdale, Jr.
IF: Alexis Trimiar, Soddy-Daisy, Jr.
IF: Kennedy McCurry, Beech, Sr.
IF: Gracie Osbron, Henry County, Sr.
OF: Alia Logoleo, Hillsboro, Jr.
OF: Madison Henry, William Blount, Jr.
OF: Carissa Frost, Walker Valley, So.
UT: Kennedy Cowden, Powell, Sr.
P: Kayla Boseman, Ooltewah, Sr.
P: Sophie Golliver, Siegel, So.
P: Hannah Koenig, Brentwood, Sr.
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