Basking in the glory of their first state championship, the West Ouachita Lady Chiefs landed nine players, including seven first-team honorees, on the All-District 2-4A softball squad.
In what is likely to be the first in a series of postseason awards, senior pitcher Shelby Carlson was named co-MVP along with Franklin Parish infielder Gracie King.
Punctuating an incredible postseason, Carlson unfurled a one-hit shutout as the Lady Chiefs topped No. 1 Buckeye 3-0 in the state championship game. It was her third shutout of the postseason as she fired back-to-back no-hitters against Cecilia and DeRidder in the second round and quarterfinals.
Carlson allowed only two runs in five playoff games as West Ouachita won its first state championship after finishing runner-up in 2001, 2009, 2015 and 2017.
For the season, Carlson compiled a 14-5 record with 145 strikeouts.
Also a force at the plate, Carlson led the Lady Chiefs in batting average (.413) and hits (45), while ranking second on the club in home runs (9) and third in RBIs (32).
Ashley Burkett-Hoyle, who pitched for the Lady Chiefs’ 2001 state runner-up team, is the Coach of the Year. Burkett-Hoyle directed West Ouachita to a 22-13 record, a No. 3 seed in the playoff bracket and its 13th State Tournament bid.
Carlson has plenty of company on the first team as she is joined by pitcher Lacie Russell, catcher Sam Eckert, infielders Ashlyn Roach and Jayce Currie, and outfielders Jordie Wilhite and Chesney Edgeworth.
Russell logged 25 punchouts when called upon to spell Carlson in the circle.
Eckert hit at a .366 clip with 41 hits and 32 RBIs. Her four home runs included a three-run blast in a 6-0 quarterfinal victory over DeRidder.
Roach was the team’s leading run producer with 12 round trippers and 42 RBIs to go with a .375 batting average and 41 hits.
Currie posted a .298 batting average with six home runs and 24 RBIs.
Wilhite contributed a .336 batting average and 37 hits while setting team-highs with 20 stolen bases and 19 walks.
Edgeworth had 21 hits to go with a dozen walks and 13 stolen bases.
Along with King, district runner-up Franklin Parish is represented on the first team by pitcher Karlie Thrasher, catcher Carlie Bankston, infielder Kaylee Martin and outfielder Kiara Clark.
Completing the first unit are infielder Amanda Shelby, outfielder Caroline Hebert and utility player Lela Hansen of Neville, and outfielder Jalyn Marshall of Bastrop.
Receiving second-team accolades were infielder Abbi Wallace and Alex Roberson of West Ouachita; infielder Abbie Williams and Maddie Wright of Franklin Parish; pitcher Mia Self, catcher Madison Donaldson, infielder Emma Semmes, and outfielders McKenzie Donaldson and Anna Grace Hansen of Neville; and infielders Alias Harris and Christianna Releford, and outfielder Raytisha Jackson of Bastrop.