High School Sports

Meet the Sun Herald’s All-South Mississippi Softball Team for the 2019 campaign

Gulfport’s Kristi Basso, left, is the Sun Herald Coach of the Year and Vancleave sophomore Avery Johston is the Sun Herald Player of the Year for 2019.
Gulfport’s Kristi Basso, left, is the Sun Herald Coach of the Year and Vancleave sophomore Avery Johston is the Sun Herald Player of the Year for 2019. Photos provided by Kristi Basso and Nichole Johnston

The 2019 fast-pitch softball season in South Mississippi featured plenty of impressive individual performances and a great deal of parity among the teams on the Coast.

This year’s All-South Mississippi Team features a healthy list of seniors who will go on to play college ball and several up-and-coming stars.

Here’s a full look at the All-South Mississippi Softball team for the 2019 campaign

Player of the Year — Avery Johnston, Vancleave sophomore pitcher

No player on the Coast was more dominant this season than Johnston, a sophomore pitcher. She led the Lady Bulldogs on a run to the Class 4A South State series Johnston finished 28-3 with a miniscule 0.92 ERA, 265 strikeouts and only eight walks in 175 2/3 innings.

Coach of the Year — Kristi Basso, Gulfport

The rebuilding project has been a successful one at Gulfport with Basso leading a young group of Admirals to a record of 22-6 in her second year on the job. The future appears to bright for the Gulfport program with this year’s team featuring several eighth-graders, freshmen and sophomores in prominent roles. In two seasons, Basso has a record of 42-14.

Fan’s Choice Player of the Year — Brooke Tanner, George County junior outfielder

Tanner provided plenty of spark in a potent George County lineup. She finished with a .573 batting average, 39 runs scored and was successful in all 38 stolen base attempts.

2019 All-South Mississippi Team

Cassidy Bradford, West Harrison junior pitcher — .400 batting average, 27 RBIs; 12-6, 1.80 ERA.

Kamryn Carcich, St. Martin junior third baseman/pitcher — .451 batting average, 5 triples, 10 doubles, 26 runs scored. In 14 pitching appeances, 6-5 with a 1.51 ERA.

Emaleigh Coates, George County junior pitcher — 17-5 record, 1.39 ERA, 195 Ks in 150 2/3 innings. She hit .384 with 17 RBIs.

Daja Cowan, Resurrection senior CF/SS — .537 batting average, 9 HR, 25 RBIs, 30 stolen bases. (East Central CC signee)

Lorna Fornea, Gulfport junior center fielder — .398 batting average, HR, 26 RBIs, 36 runs, 12 stolen bases.

Haley Fox, Ocean Springs sophomore outfielder — .360 batting average, 36 runs scored, 12 stolen bases. (Florida State commit)

Mikaila Fox, Ocean Springs senior shortstop — .363 batting average, 7 doubles, 4 triples, (Virginia signee)

Fallon Groves, Ocean Springs senior catcher — .382 batting average, 24 RBIs. (University of Montevallo signee)

Raegan Havard, George County senior catcher - .389, 2 HR, 25 RBIs. (Pearl River CC signee)

Tori Havens, George County junior infielder — .442 batting average, 13 doubles, 33 RBIs, 22 runs scored.

Alexis Laughlin, East Central center fielder — .368 batting average, 26 runs scored, 10 stolen bases. (Mississippi Gulf Coast CC signee)

Payton Lee, Pearl River Central junior outfielder — .446 batting average, 9 HR, 41 RBIs

Gia McElroy, Resurrection senior pitcher — .673 batting average, 12 doubles, 33 RBIs; 11-7 in 18 pitching appearances. (Pearl River CC signee)

Keigan Pearson, Pearl River Central junior OF/IF — .435 batting average, 3 HR, 30 RBIs.

Zharia Richardson, Harrison Central senior infielder — .343 batting average, 7 HR, 28 RBIs, 12 stolen bases. (East Central CC signee)

Anna Kate Rounsaville, Gulfport eighth-grade pitcher/second baseman — .377 batting average, 23 RBIs, 25 runs scored; 8-2 with 69 Ks in 69 innings.

Marley Sims, West Harrison sophomore shortstop — .576 batting average, 35 runs scored, 25 stolen bases

Jhericka Strickland, Harrison Central senior shortstop — .381 batting average, 26 RBIs. (Mississippi Gulf Coast CC signee)

Kylie Taylor, Ocean Springs junior first baseman/pitcher — .510 batting average, 8 HR, 54 RBIs. As a pitcher, she was 10-3 with a 1.96 ERA in 82 innings. She struck out 88 and walked 16. (Mississippi State commit)

Rakeya Travis, Poplarville senior shortstop — .462 batting average, 10 doubles, 27 runs scored (Mississippi Gulf Coast CC signee)

Lizzie Weems, Bay High sophomore pitcher — .423 batting average, 11 doubles, 17 RBIs, 12-6 with a 3.37 ERA and 170 strikeouts in 114 1/3 innings.

Makayla White, Vancleave sophomore second baseman — .362 batting average, 3 homers, 26 RBIs.

The Harrison Central softball team let loose after claiming its 3rd straight state title in Class 6A.

Patrick Magee is a sports writer who has covered South Mississippi for much of the last two decades. From Southern Miss to high schools, he stays on top of it all.