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Locals get postseason honors

Five local athletes received postseason honors for their play in softball and baseball this year.

Dallas County High School senior shortstop Kim Ross and freshman third baseman/pitcher Whitney Denson received honorable mentions on the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Class 4A softball team.

Senior pitcher Thomas Austin, junior catcher Forrest Hughes and junior first baseman Johnny Watts, all of Morgan Academy, were chosen to play in the AISA All-Star games at Troy University on June 8.

Ross, who received a softball scholarship to Wallace CC-Dothan, was one of the leaders in the Lady Hornets’ 27-5 season. Hitting in the No. 3 spot, Ross had a .587 batting on the year, with 41 runs, seven doubles, one triple and four home runs.

After missing two weeks with a knee injury, she returned in time for the regional tournament in Gulf Shores. During the tournament, she had a .429 batting average with two runs, a double and a home run.

Denson paced the Lady Hornets at the regional tournament as the team’s leadoff hitter. At Gulf Shores, she reached base in her last 11 at-bats. Her tournament numbers included a .643 batting average with five runs and a double.

For the year, Denson had a .517 batting average with 36 runs, 10 doubles and a triple. Her pitching record was unblemished, 6-0, behind No. 1 hurler Cassie Daniels.

Austin pitched the first two innings to represent the West All-Star Senior Team in the evening game. He will be pitching for Troy University next season, attending school on a full academy scholarship.

Austin compiled a 6-2 record through the playoffs with a 1.10 ERA, one save and 51 strikeouts in 61 innings. He also played in the outfield.

For the season, he had a .346 batting average with six extra-base hits and 14 RBIs.

Hughes and Watts were members of the West All-Star Junior Team, which played an afternoon game on June 8.

Hughes, who also played in the outfield, compiled a .294 batting average with two extra-base hits and six RBIs. Watts’ batting average was .396; he had four extra-base hits (one home run) and 14 RBIs.