MOUNT VERNON — It isn’t very often that a last-place team produces the area’s best player.
But a player like Taylor Keener doesn’t come along very often.
The Fredericktown senior, who led the area in most offensive categories, has been named 2011 softball All-Area Player of the Year.
Keener was the most dominant force on an offense that dished out quite a few punches. Despite their 3-10 Mid-Buckeye Conference record, the Freddies stayed alive in most of their losses, thanks mostly to their offense — an offense that Keener led.
Keener’s batting average (.653) led all area players by more than 100 points. Her slugging percentage (.973) was also tops in the area, leading the next closest Freddie by nearly 350 points.
Keener also led the area in RBIs (39), doubles (14) and triples (5). The only offensive category she didn’t lead the team in was runs scored, where her 15 runs took a back seat to teammate Rachel Goeppinger.
For All-Area Pitcher of the Year, the News sportswriters decided to give the award to the two girls who, combined, created the best pitching tandem in the area.
East Knox’s Tessa Simmons and Morgan McVay led a team filled with youth through a brutal MBC schedule to a third-place finish and a surprising run to districts.
Opponents had trouble all year with East Knox. Usually, it was due to the fact that they had to adjust to two different pitching styles. Simmons (1.81 ERA, 57 K) started most games, including every postseason game for the Bulldogs. However, McVay (2.07 ERA, 39 K) was always ready to add a fresh arm and a new look to the East Knox defensive attack.