ALL-STATE SOFTBALL: Swann lands on 1st-team, several local players honored as well

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Six local standouts, led by Good Hope's Bailey Swann, earned spots on the all-state softball team after great 2019 seasons. (Martha Needham and Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Alabama Sports Writers Association released the all-state softball team for 2019 late Friday night and Good Hope’s Bailey Swann earned a spot on the first team after a stellar senior season. Five other local players earned recognition as well, staring with Swann’s fellow infielder Skylar Tucker and West Point infielder Makayla Brown who secured spots on the second team. Fairview’s Katie Ball, Hanceville’s Cassidy Campbell and Cullman’s Alex Stansell each earned an honorable mention on this year’s all-state team.

Swann, a Snead State signee, was a nearly unstoppable force at the plate this season. Swann finished the season with a .570 batting average, a team-leading 6 homers, 49 RBIs, 57 runs scored, and she led the team with 35 stolen bases during her senior campaign. Perhaps Swann’s biggest hit of the season came against White Plains in the West-Central Regional title game when her walk-off double in the bottom of the seventh punched Good Hope’s ticket to this year’s state tournament.

Tucker was another anchor on the left side of the infield for the Lady Raiders this year. On top of leading the defense from her shortstop position, Tucker finished the season hitting .482 with a home run, 36 RBIs, 38 runs scored and a team-high 18 doubles to earn a spot on the second team. Both Swann and Tucker graduated in May and after the careers they’ve both put together in their time at Good Hope, a few players will have to step up to try and replace all of that production in 2020.

Tucker is joined on the all-state second team by Lady Warriors infielder Makayla Brown. Along with being a fixture of the West Point defense, Brown was one of the most important pieces of the Lady Warriors’ offense. One of her most impressive performances of the season was against Cullman in March when Brown went 4-for-4 at the plate and racked up a whopping eight RBIs in a 15-4 win. Brown graduated in May and her offensive numbers will be difficult to replace for West Point next year but Brown plans to keep driving in runs when she starts her career at Snead State next season.

Hanceville’s Cassidy Campbell earned an all-state honorable mention after posting a 7-6 record as a sophomore. Coming off of an injury, she continued to improve and lead the way in the circle and at the plate for the Lady Bulldogs who finished with an 8-14 mark on the season. Hanceville has a lot of youth returning to the field in 2020 and Campbell will be looked to as one of the leaders as she continues to get better.

Fairview junior Katie Ball collected an honorable mention on this year’s team and was a big factor for the Lady Aggies on the mound and at the plate this season. Ball had several highlights throughout the spring including hitting a walk-off, 3-run home run in the Lady Aggies’ come-from-behind win over Ashville at home. With her being one of several players coming back next season, Ball will look to make even more noise in her senior year and help the Lady Aggies get back to the postseason.

Alex Stansell was one of just two seniors on the roster for the Cullman Lady Bearcats this season and a big season at the plate earned here an honorable mention on this year’s all-state squad. Stansell led the way for the Lady Bearcats at the plate, collecting three homeruns on the season, most notably a walk-off bomb against Southside earlier in the season. With Stansell moving on after graduation, Cullman will have big shoes to both in the box and behind the plate in 2020.

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