Player of the Year: Adams hits right balance

For the second time this year, Sam Adams was voted onto The Advocate-Messenger All-Area team. But this time, the Garrard County senior gets an added award after she was named the Player of the Year in a vote by area coaches.

Adams was a near unanimous choice for the award after helping lead the Golden Lions to a 25-10 record and a place in the 12th Region tournament.

“It means that my performance this year, and through previous years received recognition from area coaches and I am honored because of that,” Adams said. “My parents always told me that hard work eventually pays off and to win this award is proof of that.”

Batting leadoff for the Lions, Adams hit .429 with 44 runs and 34 RBI. She had 19 extra base hits — nine doubles, three triples and seven home runs.

Adams was also a second team selection to girls basketball All-Area team.

“Some of my best friends are the girls I grew up playing softball and basketball with,” she said. “Just the opportunity to spend time and to play my last season with them was great and I will cherish every moment for the rest of my life. From team bonding on our Tennessee trip to competing for the most homeruns to spending time with each other on the day to day basis, it was great and I’m thankful for that opportunity.’

Adams had to balance basketball and softball, but because the former is her favorite sport, she said it wasn’t a challenge to put in the work.

“I put in a lot of work to get where I was at the end of my career, including extra work when I could,” Adams said. “I would say my biggest improvement that I have made would have to be my power at the plate. In previous seasons, I would not have been considered a power hitter but more of a contact hitter, whereas my junior and senior years I feel that I became a big threat at the plate.”

Adams was joined on the first team list by teammates Maddy Day. The Lions short stop hit .403 with 39 runs and 15 RBI.

“We had a great season this year and I was incredibly blessed to have been able to play with such great players,” Adams said. “We had some of the best players around and although the season didn’t end the way we wanted, we accomplished many things, this award included.”

Region champion Boyle County leads the first team list with five selections — Danielle Roney, Channing Whitehouse, Gracie Edmiston, Mattie Robbins and Katy Grace Chadwell. Robbins hit .517 with a state-best 75 hits, and she stole 17 bases. Roney batted .391 with 30 RBI and two homers. Whitehouse hit .375 with 36 RBI, and Edmiston batted .396 with 56 RBI and six homers.

Chadwell went 18-10 with a 2.70 ERA and 129 strikeouts. Also making the first team as a pitcher was Lincoln County senior Sydney Slone, who helped lead the Patriots to a 16-12 record.

The Pats also placed infielder Madisen Hinkle on the first team, and Mercer County’s Lyric Houston rounded out the team. Houston hit .404 with 10 doubles and four home runs, including a walk-off shot to win the 46th District tournament. She scored 34 runs and drove in 23.

Houston’s coach, Robbie Tharp was named the Coach of the Year after leading the Titans to a 21-12 record, including regular season and tournament district titles.

Follow Jeremy Schneider on Twitter @jschneideramn

2017 The Advocate-Messenger All-Area Softball Team

First team

Infielders: Maddy Day (Garrard County); Madisen Hinkle (Lincoln County); Danielle Roney (Boyle County); Lyric Houston (Mercer County)

Outfielders: Channing Whitehouse (Boyle County); Gracie Edmiston (Boyle County); Sam Adams (Garrard County)

Pitchers: Katy Grace Chadwell (Boyle County); Sidney Slone (Lincoln County)

Catcher: Mattie Robbins (Boyle County)

Player of the Year: Sam Adams (Garrard County)

Pitcher of the Year: Katy Grace Chadwell (Boyle County)

Coach of the Year: Robbie Tharp (Mercer County)

Honorable mention

BOYLE COUNTY: Kacey Lanham, Keely Bowling, Izzy Gervacio, Kelly Lay

CASEY COUNTY: Lauren Lee

DANVILLE: Morgan Ryan, Brooklyn Thompson

GARRARD COUNTY: Elle Montgomery, Sis Logan, Kelsi Moss, Jaydan Norris, Kelsey Perkins, Katy Pozzuto, Olivia Saylor

LINCOLN COUNTY: Chyna Dyehouse, Maddy Boyle, Abby Sparkman, Jenna King

MERCER COUNTY: Morgan Reed, Kynleigh Miller, Kelsey Shope, Channing Lewis