By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
The more things change, the more things stay the same.
Case in point – Corbin’s Hannah Hart being named the Class 2A Player of the Year for the second year in a row after guiding the Lady Redhounds to a fastpitch program-best 21 wins this season along with a 13th Region Tournament title game appearance, which in turn is only the second time that has happened at Corbin. Hart was also named to Class 2A's First Team All-State.
Hart won 20 games in the circle for Corbin this season while striking out 209 batters in 195 innings. She also had a 1.58 ERA and only gave up 44 earned runs the entire season.
But that’s not all.
She also batted .467 on the season with 56 hits in 120 at-bats while driving in 24 runs, collecting 18 doubles while leading the team with an on-base percentage of .508 and slugging percentage of .617.
“I’m extremely proud of Hannah’s accomplishments this year,” Corbin coach and Hannah’s father Chris Hart said. “Getting both of these honors has shown that her hard work has paid off. Our goal was having her make First Team All-State and she was able to accomplish that.
“Last year, a lot wasn’t expected, but this season the target was on her back and she did great,” he added. “She really worked hard this season and put in a lot of work. It was really exciting for her to get these honors and I’m very proud of her.”
Joining hart as Class A Player of the Year was Holy Cross’ Madison Ray while Elizabeth Moss of state champion Greenwood was named Class 3A Player of the Year.
South Laurel’s Amber Hyde and Hagan Burns were named to Class 3A’s Second Team All-State. Hyde put up impressive numbers during her senior season, leading the Lady Cardinals with 13 home runs and 54 RBIs along with 57 hits. She also batted .449 on the season and had 18 doubles. Hyde turned in one of the best performances in 13th Region Tournament championship game history by going 3-for-4 with a single, double and triple and seven RBIs.
“Amber was my pick for Miss Softball,” South Laurel coach James Burns said. “She was a very good catcher and really could play any position for us. She hit the ball hard and finished the season with 13 home runs, which was three short of Emily Gaines’ record of 16. We had 10 games rained out this season and if we could have played those games, that record could have been in jeopardy.”
Burns did a lot of damage at the plate and in the circle for South Laurel. She had two home runs and 36 RBIs while batting .353. She also posted a 15-6 record in the circle for the Lady Cardinals while garnering 102 strikeouts and a 1.06 ERA.
“Hagan is a strong pitcher that goes out and plays hard,” Burns said of his daughter. “She started pitching as a freshman and she has done a great job for us. The big thing for Hagan is that she goes out and gives us a chance to win. Her and Amber were Honorable Mention last year, so it’s pretty good to see them move up.”
Barbourville’s Michaela Rose was named Class A Honorable Mention after turning in another solid campaign. Rose batted .431 on the season while collecting three home runs and 24 RBIs while finishing with 25 hits and team-best numbers in on-base percentage (.550) and slugging percentage (.741).
“Michaela is definitely one of the finest players to ever wear Barbourville blue,” Barbourville coach Brandon Simpson said. “It is a huge honor for her to be named to an All-State team. It is certainly a bright spot in a tough season.
“What she brings to the table, considering both physical skill and leadership, will be quite difficult to replace next year. She is a special talent.”