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Henderson top player in 8-AAA
Three other Lady Eagles make all-region first team

COVINGTON - Eastside's Amanda Henderson, who was named Region 8-AAA softball Player of the Year, leads a group of four Lady Eagles on the 8-AAA All-Region softball team.

Also making the squad from Eastside were seniors Bri Chambers, Erica Cronic and Sierra Petree.

"It speaks volume for the program itself," Eastside assistant softball coach Michael Poor said. "Just to have every other coach in the region notice them and vote them on, to me that's the biggest compliment."

With Henderson's offensive and pitching numbers, it was no wonder that she was named region player of the year.

As a pitcher, she had 365 strikeouts, finishing the season with a 27-7 record and a 0.81 ERA. In 34 starts, she had 33 complete games and registered 17 shutouts.

Offensively, Henderson was third on the team in batting average at .376. She also had 41 hits with nine doubles, one triple and 27 RBIs.

"This is the first time that I know of an Eastside softball player being a player of the year from a region," Poor said. "With the region that we were in, we had the state championship team. It's a tremendous honor for her. She actually doesn't like the attention at all. She just loves playing ball, and the way she plays, you can tell."

As the leadoff hitter, Chambers did her job, getting on base almost 60 percent of the time.

Chambers led the team with a .495 batting average and 51 hits while working 24 walks, which also led the team.

"She definitely set the tone. When she gets on base, she can turn a base hit or a walk into a double or even a triple," Poor said. "It puts a lot of pressure on the other team if she gets on. She was really the offensive catalyst that started everything."

Chambers stole 31 bases in 33 attempts and had seven triples.

Petree, a third baseman, had team-high 32 RBIs and was second on the squad with a batting average of .380. She also tied Henderson for most doubles on the team with nine.

"She basically was the one driving in Bri. Bri would get on and we would move her over with our second hitter, which turned out to be Erica," Poor said. "But Sierra had tremendous clutch ability at the plate. She drove the ball into all fields with power. Her bat alone was tremendous; that was her biggest asset."

In her first season in Eastside's starting lineup, Cronic had a big job defensively at second base.

"Just think about the number of balls that were bunted against Amanda because she threw so well teams resorted to bunting," Poor said. "She had to make it from second base to first base to cover every single one of them. For someone who didn't get to the year before, it was unbelievable.

"She worked her tail off. To her credit, all the hard work paid off being named to this team."

With the fourth-highest batting average at .340, Cronic scored 15 runs while getting 32 hits, including eight doubles and a triple. She also had 24 RBIs.

"She is not going to hit the home run, and she is not going to make the diving play," Poor said. "But she makes all the routine plays."

Manny Fils can be reached at manny.fils@newtoncitizen.com.

SideBar: All-Region 8-AAA Softball Team

Player of the Year: Amanda Henderson, Eastside

FIRST TEAM

Eastside

Amanda Henderson, Bri Chambers, Sierra Petree,Erica Cronic

Elbert County

Hannah Eavenson, Myia Ashmore, Kenya Wingate

Franklin County

Moriah Eavenson

Hart County

Jeronda Hunt, Kasi Haygood, Rebecca Jones, Britney Burton

Jackson County

Haley Shinall

Morgan County

Shelby Morrill, Andrea Ross, Lindsey Conway

Oconee County

Megan McClain, Kirstin Rodrigues, Courtney Poole, Geri Ann Glasco, Hilary Bird

Stephens County

Taylor Kelley, Kaitlin Kinney, Ashlee Mealor

HONORABLE MENTION

Elbert County

Sarah Fuller

Franklin County

Kayla Jordan, Morgan Hart, Leanna Roach

Hart County

Leann Skelton

Morgan County

Kimberly Banks

Oconee County

Sarah Vaughn, Hannah Vaughn

Stephens County

Carmen Jordan