by Mike Nutter
Lewis County, which had the Big 10 Conference's top
team this year, also were honored with having the league's top pitcher and coach Thursday with the release of the All Big 10 Softball team, selected by the league's seven coaches.
The Minutemaids' head coach, Rod Wyman, was named
the Coach of the Year after leading his team to a 29-8 record and berth in the state softball tournament for the first time in the school's history. Last season, competing in Class AAA, Lewis County fell one game short, losing 1-0 in the regional final.
The accolades, however, were just beginning for the Wymans.
His daughter, Julia, was selected the Big 10's Pitcher of the Year. Others honored were Grafton's Julie Bolyard, who was selected the conference's Player of the Year, while Liberty freshman Kass Nutter was named the Rookie of the Year.
Julia Wyman, the Minutemaids' junior ace pitcher, finished the season with a 26-8 record, factoring in all but three decisions. Among her season highlights were a pair of no-hitters, thrown less than a week apart.
Bolyard, meanwhile, helped lead the Bearcats to their best record in school history at 15-9, surpassing the previous high of eight victories. The senior shortstop was a four-year starter for coach Rod Auvil and finished her career with a .436 batting average.
In 2003, Bolyard batted .407 (35-for-86) drove in 19 runs, stole 25 bases and scored 31 runs. Her nine doubles tied the team high, while she led the team with six triples.
Nutter made an immediate impact to the Mountaineers' lineup. She hit .500 with 27 RBIs, six doubles and three triples. She also finished with 23 stolen bases.
In all, four Minutemaids' were named to the first team, making Lewis County the most represented. Joining Wyman were Abby Holden, Amy Davis and Angel Hawkins.
Robert C. Byrd and Grafton each had three selected.
The Eagles were represented by Maggie Davis, Ashley Mullooly and Keisha Bowsman, while Bolyard, Amber Gobel and Erinn Gallaher were selected from Grafton.
Rounding out the first team is Bridgeport's Ashley McCauley and Kayla Show, Lincoln's Ashley Cook and Rachel Stout, Liberty's Nutter and Becca Conch and Philip Barbour's Amanda Ferguson.
The second team is made up of Lewis County's Lindsey Casto, Chaley Dyer and Brittney Freeman, Robert C. Byrd's Amber Knapp, Samantha Broadstock and Stephanie Anderson, Grafton's Brandi Patton, Kim Streets and Kali Jones, Bridgeport's Amanda Reed and Stephanie Wanstreet, Lincoln's Amanda Scott and Miranda Harmer, Liberty's Haleigh Holtz and Philip Barbour's Ashley Kelley and Tanya Stemple.
Sports writer Mike Nutter can be reached at 626-1444 or by e-mail at email@example.com