Seven softball players suited up for the final time in their high school careers on Thursday night in the Northeast Mississippi Softball Coaches Association All-Star Games at Saltillo High School.
Monroe County was represented in the slow-pitch game by Amory’s Jamison McComb and Macie Mitchell and Nettleton’s Holly Beth Dabbs and Katie Grace Payne, and in the fast-pitch game by Hamilton’s Anna Claire Stahl and Nettleton’s Mycah Hall and Kameron Miller.
The Nettleton duo of Dabbs and Payne ended their softball careers by each hitting a home run in the slow-pitch game.
Payne hit a solo shot in her second at-bat and also added a pair of singles, while Dabbs had hits in her final three at-bats, including a two-run homer. The two are best friends playing in their final game.
The Red team with them and McComb and Mitchell took home the 22-18 victory.
“It was fun to come out one last time and meet new people,” Payne said. “I always like doing that. Playing with my best friend one last time was great. We always support each other and are proud when the other one does well.”
Dabbs echoed her thoughts on their final game together. She and Payne have played softball together since coach pitch when they were 6 years old.
“It’s been hard coming to terms with not being able to play together again,” Dabbs said. “Getting one more time and then finding out we were on the same team, that was a big deal and really exciting.”
Mitchell had a pair of hits as well, including a double and scoring a run in her first at-bat, and she took home Defensive Player of the Game honors. She ended the game by fielding the final two outs and played the entire game at shortstop.
McComb split time in the circle with and hit a double in her final at-bat and picked up an RBI earlier in the night.
In the fast-pitch game, all three Monroe County representatives have signed to play at the next level – Stahl with Northeast, Hall with Jones and Miller with ICC.
Stahl won the Roger Duke Memorial Scholarship and also pitched two scoreless innings to close out the game, but hers and Miller’s team took the 3-1 loss.
Hall singled in her first at-bat and was a part of the winning team in the fast-pitch game.
In overall honors, East Union’s Raelee Bell was the slow-pitch player of the year, while Houston’s Aquana Brownlee won the honor in fast-pitch.