Softball trio earn all-state honors
by JOE CANNON Banner Assistant Sports Editor
Jul 20, 2014 | 839 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Softball trio
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A trio of local high school softball players have garnered well deserved all-state honors, but that isn’t the best news, according to their respective coaches.

“She’s a joy to coach. She’s an awesome talent that puts the team’s success first. The best thing about her though is we still have her for another year,” Walker Valley head coach Lauren Limburg said of senior-to-be Hallie Davis.

“Both of them are great athletes and had all-state years. They are very humble and will give credit to the team’s success, but they a very deserving of these honors. The good news is they will be back next season,” echoed Polk County coach Bill Triplett about senior-to-be Brianna Muller and junior-to-be Aubrie Bowman.

Davis has been named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association’s Class AAA All-State Team for the second straight year, while Bowman was honored by the same group on their Class AA list. Muller was chosen for the Tennessee Softball Coaches Association’s AA All-State squad, according to Triplett.

All three played key roles in their team’s success this past season.

Muller and Bowman were the top two Lady Wildcat hitters as Polk County went 25-8, won the District 5-AA title for the first time in 20 years and advanced to TSSAA Sectional play.

Once again, Davis topped the Lady Mustangs in several offensive categories as Walker Valley posted a 33-15 mark and finished as the District 5-AAA runner-up to advance to region play.

The epitome of the “Feisty Fillies” spirit, Davis never leaves the field with a clean uniform, making diving stops, sliding into stolen bases or blocking a base while making a tag on a surprised base runner.

“She is an all-around great player both offensively and defensively,” proclaimed Coach Limburg. “Not only did she deliver many key hits this season, but made huge plays in the field to save runs and take away hits from opposing players.”

“She’s an extremely hard worker, not only in the games, but in practice and on her own as well,” the Lady Mustang mentor declared. “She’s a great example for our younger players.”

After a sophomore season that saw her post a .434 batting average with a .516 on base percentage .953 slugging percentage, Davis improved those numbers this spring with a .485 BA, .549 OBP and 1.162 power number.

While 29 of her 46 hits went for extra bases, including 13 home runs, in 2013, her most recent campaign saw her blast as many home runs (17) as singles, plus she ripped a dozen doubles and a pair of triples.

Switching from batting leadoff the year before to the No. 3 spot in the order this past season, the Lady Mustang second baseman scored 46 times and drove in 45 runs. As a sophomore she scored 43 runs and had 26 RBIs in 33 games.

“Hallie has a huge impact on her teammates and the success of our team,” Coach Limburg assessed. “I’m glad she’s on our team. I can’t wait to see what she does next year.”

A Chattanooga area Best of Preps first team selection, Davis has decided to stay close to home for her collegiate diamond career, having committed to play for NCAA Division II Lee University.

Bowman is the second Lady Wildcat shortstop in as many years to be chosen for the TSWA all-state squad as current Tennessee Tech golfer Lydia Triplett was named to last summer’s team.

“She has been our shortstop from Day 1 this year,” related Coach Triplett. “She came in with high expectations and lived up to them.”

“She had a good year at the plate and in the field, and continually gets better,” the veteran Polk coach added. “I think this (being selected as all-state) confirms she is one of the top infielders in the state.”

Despite missing a few games due to an ankle injury, Bowman’s sophomore season included a .395 batting average, with 34 hits, a dozen doubles, five home runs, 28 RBIs, 42 runs scored and 24 stolen bases.

Muller is a versatile player, taking the field at first base most of the time, but filling in at shortstop when Bowman was out, plus she went into the circle as the Lady Wildcats No. 2 pitcher.

“Brianna played really well this year, especially down the stretch in the tournaments,” Coach Triplett praised. “She had a great season offensively and was able to help us in several positions defensively.”

Muller led the team with a .449 BA, 48 hits, 14 doubles, 30 runs batted in and tied Bowman with 42 runs scored. She also had 14 stolen bases, a pair of triples and blasted four home runs, including two in the Region 3-AA championship game against Chattanooga Central.

While toeing the rubber, she posted a 9-4 record with a 2.67 earned run average.

“We have everybody except one (Felicia Johnson who recently signed with Tennessee Wesleyan) coming back, so I expect these two to have big years again next season,” commented Coach Triplett.