The fantastic four
Hamilton, Reeves, Roberts and Wilson named All-State
Charles Prince, Hartselle Enquirer
MONTGOMERY – According to the Alabama Sports Writers Association, four of the best athletes on the high school baseball and softball diamonds play for schools in the Enquirer's coverage area.
Danville's Kristy Roberts and Charleston Wilson were both named to the 3A All-State softball team, while Hartselle's Andrew Reeves and Priceville's Dustin Hamilton were named to the 5A and 2A All-State baseball teams, respectively.
In addition, three area softball players and six area baseball players were named to the All-State honorable mention list.
Roberts, a senior who holds numerous state and national records for batting and stealing bases, was named the 3A Softball Player of the Year and finished runner-up to Baker High's Tara Donaldson in the voting for Ms. Softball, given annually to the state's premier softball player. She was also named a member of the "Super 12" team comprised of the state's best players from all classifications.
This season Roberts batted .505 and extended her consecutive stolen bases streak to 151, before being thrown out. She helped the Lady Hawks advance to the second round of the 3A sub-state playoffs.
Wilson batted .508, drove in 30 runs and stole 30 bases, while striking out only three times all year. She provided the Lady Hawks with consistent defensive play at both shortstop and catcher this season.
Reeves turned in a 12-2 record in his senior season, including winning two playoffs games for the Tigers, helping Hartselle to the second round of the 5A state playoffs.
He recorded two saves and struck out 87 batters in 74 innings of work. As a junior in 2004 he fired a no-hitter and posted four wins.
Hamilton was the ace hurler for the Bulldogs, helping Priceville reach the state quarterfinals of the 2A playoffs.
Hamilton posted a 11-1 record this season and won three playoff games. He fanned 124 batters in 81 innings on the mound.
When not pitching, Hamilton batted .370 and drove in 33 runs in 39 games. In 2004, Hamilton was named to the Birmingham News All-State team.
Shanice Johnson and Kayla Orr helped Hartselle to the sub-state playoffs, where they lost a tough three-game series to eventual state finalist Buckhorn.
Johnson hit .329 with four homers and 28 RBIs at the designated player position, while Orr smashed five home runs and collected 32 RBIs, while hitting .371 as a first baseman.
Sara Parker, a junior left fielder at Priceville, missed part of the area tournament when she broke her ankle in the tourney's second game.
Parker helped the Lady Bulldogs to a Top 10 ranking most of the season as she batted .366 with 36 RBIs and 45 runs scored.
Hartselle's tradition of success continued on the baseball field thanks to the efforts of senior catcher Chris Wiley and juniors Jordan Parker and Joe McClanahan.
Wiley hit .400 with seven homers, while driving in 47 runs and scoring 59 times. Parker, the Tigers third baseman hit .423 with five homers and a team-high 58 RBIs, in addition to scoring 54 runs.
Parker's season hit total of 74 is the third highest in the state's history.
McClanahan led the Tigers with a .447 batting average with 25 RBIs and scored 28 times, while hitting in the designated hitter position for most of the second half of the season.
The Danville Hawks made a second consecutive trip to the state playoffs, due in part to the play of senior Thomas Hopkins at shortstop.
Hopkins batted .484 with four homers and stole 22 bases while scoring 54 runs in only 31 games.
Falkville's Brad Vest posted an 8-4 record on the mound this season helping the Blue Devils to an unbeaten season in 2A, Area 12 and a second straight trip to the state playoffs. When he wasn't pitching, Vest batted .407 with 26 runs scored and 30 RBIs in 29 games.
The bat of Priceville catcher Dale Taylor helped the Bulldogs reach the 2A quarterfinals for the first time.
Taylor batted .343 and hit two of his five homers during the state playoffs. Taylor finished his season with 30 runs scored and 26 RBIs.