Several future Division I players and a state championship St. Patrick team highlight this year's Sun Herald All-South Mississippi Softball team.
St. Patrick coach Tommy Castanedo is this year's Sun Herald Coach of the Year after leading the Lady Irish to a Class 2A state champion. Sophomore pitcher/first baseman Kylie Taylor is the Sun Herald Player of the Year following an impressive two-way performance.
Here is the rest of the 2018 Sun Herald All-South Mississippi Team:
Coach of the Year
Tommy Castanedo, St. Patrick
About Castanedo: He has been at St. Patrick for eight years and has four state championships during his time at the school. His teams have appeared in seven South State title series. His teams are 59-0 in district play at St. Patrick.
2018 record: 22-7-1.
Quotable: “This group has been with us since seventh grade and all four of them had two state championships, The last three years to kind of lose and then to see them go out on top, it does my heart a lot of good. They're great kids.” — Castanedo
Player of the Year
About Taylor: After flipping her commitment from Missouri to Mississippi State in August, Taylor pieced together an impressive sophomore campaign for Ocean Springs. The lefty should only get better with time, making the Greyhounds one of the favorites to contend for state titles over the next two seasons.
2018 stats: Taylor had huge seasons at the plate and in the pitcher's circle. She hit .506 with 10 homers and 47 RBIs. As a pitcher, she finished 11-4 with a 1.23 ERA and 143 K's.
Quotable: "My hitting was better than last year. I try to do as much as I can, but I do enjoy (pitching and hitting). My goals are definitely to (hit and pitch in college), but definitely to pitch."
Fan Vote Winner
Anna D'Aquilla, St Patrick senior
About D'Aquilla: The right-handed pitcher helped lead the Lady Irish to their first state championships since 2014 with a sweep of Lake in the Class 2A title series.
2018 stats: She finished 21-7 with a 130 ERA in 30 appearances this season. At the plate, she hit .276 with 24 RBIs.
All-South Mississippi Team
Shelby Archer, Pearl River Central senior SS — .372, 8 HR, 30 RBIs
Raven Blackwell, St. Patrick senior C — .413, 4 HR, 11 doubles, 41 runs
Raylen Blackwell, St. Patrick senior OF — .345, 3 HR, 29 RBIs
Catherine Burns, Gulfport senior 3B — .382, HR, 23 RBIs
Kayla Cade, Harrison Central senior C — .398, 2 HR, 37 RBIs
Kristen Cade, Harrison Central senior P — 16-2, 0.63 ERA, 164 K's
Kamryn Carcich, St. Martin sophomore PB/3B — .450, 19 runs, 17 RBIs.
Daja Cowan, Resurrection junior CF/SS — .500, 2 HR, 28 runs, 15 stolen bases
Anna D'Aquilla, St. Patrick senior P — 21-7, 1.30 ERA, 238 K's
Madison Gower, Pearl River Central senior CF — .313, 4 HR, 35 runs
Shelby Gruich, St. Martin senior IF — .456, 2 HR, 43 RBIs
Tori Havens, George County sophomore IF — .424, 3 HR, 30 RBIs
Avery Johnston, Vancleave freshman P — 0.94 ERA, 216 K's in 141 1/3 innings
Kaylan Ladner, Hancock senior P — 12-6, 0.48 ERA, 224 K's (Southern Miss signee)
Jade Latham, Pearl River Central senior P/3B — 17-4, 1.82 ERA, 205 K's
Alexis Laughlin, East Central junior CF — .364, 26 runs, 17 RBIs
Christine Marsland, Biloxi senior OF/P — .411, 15 runs; 3.14 ERA
Olivia Plummer, Gulfport freshman C — .487, 6 triples, 31 RBIs
Marley Sims, West Harrison freshman SS — .464, 33 runs, 21 stolen bases
Kelsie Smith, Gulfport senior P — 12-3, 0.85 ERA, 90 K's
Brooklyn Tanner, George County sophomore OF — .466, 28 runs, 29 stolen bases
Rakeya Travis, Poplarville junior IF — .519, 32 RBIs, 14 stolen bases