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Local softball trio named to all-state team
Chambers, Henderson, Alford earn honor

COVINGTON - Eastside's Brianna Chambers and Amanda Henderson along with Heritage's Callie Alford have been named to the softball all-state teams in their respective classifications.

Chambers and Henderson were selected to the Class AAA team, while Alford was on the Class AAAA team. Heritage senior Whitney Phillips made the Class AAAA honorable mention list.

Having Chambers and Henderson provided the Lady Eagles the one-two punch needed to make them one of the top teams in Class AAA

"It's huge because you have two first-team, basically All-American-caliber players on different sides of the ball," Eastside assistant softball coach Michael Poor said. "You have one on the mound taking care of business and you have one at the plate taking care of business. It makes the team incredibly difficult to play day in and day out. That was a big reason for our success."

This is Chambers' third time making it to the all-state team.

She made the first team last season and was put on the honorable mention team her sophomore year in 2006.

Chambers also will play on the Georgia Coaches Association All-Star North team.

"That was quite a big accomplishment for her," Poor said. "She's pretty much taken just about every honor that you can take for a postseason award. She's a sensational athlete. She deserves every bit of it."

As a junior, Henderson broke Eastside's record for strikeouts in a season with 365. She had 27 wins this season, including 17 shutouts.

"With the season she had, it was very well-deserved. She finished with 365 strikeouts, quite a few shutouts and quite a few no-hitters for that fact," Poor said. "It's a new school record for single-season strikeouts and currently ranks No. 9 in the state for all-time strikeouts in a season."

Chambers provided the offense for Eastside with a .495 batting average, scoring 35 times and hitting seven triples. Chambers also stole 33 bases on 36 tries.

Besides being a defensive threat in the circle, Henderson has been known to help her cause with a .376 batting average while driving 27 runs home.

"Bri is a fantastic outfielder. Amanda hit the ball well, too. I think their strengths lie with Bri being on base doing everything that she did offensively, and Amanda's biggest strength was the pitching," Poor said. "Between the two of them, we had pitching and hitting. We had offensive and defensive leaders out there. They really spurred on the team all the way through the playoffs."

A sophomore, Alford had a batting average of .455 and an on-base percentage of .491.

"The reason for that is because she had only two strikeouts in 99 at-bats. You can't beat that," Heritage coach Dickey Hightower said.

The Lady Patriots' catcher finished the year with 45 hits, including 12 doubles, three triples and a home run.

"Callie had a dog-gone good season," Hightower said. "I didn't see a better catcher at state this year."

Even though Phillips, a senior shortstop, played hurt, her numbers were still impressive enough to make honorable mention.

"I feel that if she hadn't been hurt she would've at least made second team," Hightower said. "She was willing to give it a shot and she did a real good job. But her injury limited her at shortstop."

Phillips had 39 hits and a .333 average for the year. She also had 13 doubles and three triples.

However, her true value came on the basepath. Phillips was almost perfect stealing bases, stealing 27 in 29 attempts.

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