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Class of their own
Henderson, Chambers, Alford earn area honors

The numbers don't lie.

In fact, they speak volumes about the softball seasons produced this fall by Eastside pitcher Amanda Henderson, Eastside center fielder Brianna Chambers and Heritage catcher Callie Alford.

Henderson was dominant on the mound, hurling the Lady Eagles to within a game of playing for the Class AAA state title. The junior is the Pitcher of the Year on the Citizen's 2008 All-Area Softball Team.

Chambers and Alford compiled their numbers at the plate in different in ways on their way to earning Hitter of the Year honors. Chambers set the table for Eastside's offense from her leadoff spot in the batting order, while Alford was a run-producing machine in the middle of the Heritage lineup.

Eastside's Heather Wood is the Coach of the Year after guiding the Lady Eagles to a 28-7-1 record, including the Region 8-AAA championship. At the state tournament, the Lady Eagles were eliminated by region foe and eventual state champion Oconee County just one game short of playing for the state title.

Amanda Henderson (Junior, Eastside): The junior hurler posted a 27-7 record with a 0.81 ERA for the Lady Eagles, including 17 shutouts. Henderson recorded 365 strikeouts, one of the best single-season efforts in state history. She also hit .376 with 27 RBIs.

Jamie Melson (Senior, Heritage): Melson posted a 17-7-1 record with a 0.75 ERA. In 160 innings, the senior left-hander recorded 119 strikeouts and surrendered only 12 walks.

Callie Alford (Sophomore, Heritage): Alford provided the power in the middle of the Lady Patriots' batting order, leading the team in batting average (.455), hits (45), RBIs (30) and runs scored (22). The sophomore catcher struck out only twice in 99 at-bats.

Chaconna Marks (Junior, Newton): Marks, a catcher, batted .402.

MeQuilla Franklin (Junior, Rockdale): The junior catcher hit .338 with 25 hits, 14 runs, six doubles and one triple.

Kat Baize (Senior, Heritage): The senior had a .280 batting average with 28 hits and 18 RBIs. At first base, she recorded a fielding percentage of .981.

Kaitlin Overstreet (Senior, Rockdale): Overstreet, a first baseman, capped off her career by leading the team in batting average (.424) and RBIs (17). Nine of her 25 hits went for extra bases (six doubles, three triples).

Sierra Petree (Senior, Eastside): The senior third baseman hit .380, which included nine doubles and a team-high 32 RBIs.

Whitney Phillips (Senior, Heritage): The shortstop compiled a .333 batting average with 36 hits, including 13 doubles and three triples. She also stole 27 bases in 29 attempts.

Amber Melton (Junior, Alcovy): Melton, a junior, provided the punch in the Lady Tigers' lineup, batting a team-high .440 with 37 hits, including 11 doubles and three home runs. The third baseman also registered a team-high 29 RBIs.

Erica Cronic (Senior, Eastside): Cronic hit .340 with 32 hits, eight doubles, 24 RBIs and 15 runs.

Kayla Jones (Senior, Eastside): Jones provided strong defense and solid offensive numbers for the Lady Eagles from her position at shortstop. The senior hit .320.

Markea Sheppard (Sophomore, Newton): Sheppard finished with a .388 batting average.

Jessica Vason (Sophomore, Salem): Vason hit a team-high .451 for the Lady Seminoles. The sophomore third baseman had 24 hits, six doubles, two triples and 12 RBIs. She also had an on-base percentage of .462.

Brianna Chambers (Senior, Eastside): The senior led her team in batting average (.495), hits (51), walks (24), on-base percentage (.591) and stolen bases (34).

Meghan Campbell (Senior, Salem): Campbell hit .448 for the Lady Seminoles with 25 hits and 12 RBIs. She had an on-base percentage of .431.

Melody Belcher (Sophomore, Alcovy): Belcher filled a critical role for the Lady Tigers in the No. 2 spot of the batting order. The sophomore outfielder posted a .311 batting average with 28 hits.

Chermisha Roberts (Junior, Newton): Roberts finished the season with a .396 batting average.

Dallas Hardin (Sophomore, Alcovy): The sophomore hurler notched a 12-6 record with a 0.95 ERA, collecting 114 strikeouts in 1252/3 innings of work. At the plate, she hit .376 with 35 hits, four doubles, three triples and 10 RBIs.

Holly Springer (Sophomore, Newton): The sophomore posted a team-high batting average of .448.

Stephanie Scaffe (Senior, Rockdale): Scaffe, a senior, hit .368 for the Lady Bulldogs with 25 hits and 13 RBIs. On the mound, she compiled a 7-4 record.

Jeff Gillespie can be reached at jeff.gillespie@rockdalecitizen.com.