Natchitoches Central High School’s softball team had one of the best seasons in the program’s history, and was well rewarded on the All-District 1-5A team as a result.
The Lady Chiefs finished 23-9 with a trip to the state quarterfinals, marking only the third season ever that the NCHS softball team advanced so far. Five players were first-team All-District, with three more on the second team and another pair earning honorable mention status.
Sophomore pitcher/infielder Maddie Robinson was the co-District Most Valuable Player, sharing the honor with Airline star pitcher Raelin Chaffin, an LSU signee who led the Lady Vikings to the state finals.
The other first-team selections from NCHS were junior infielder Catherine Stokes, sophomore infielder Victoria Robinson, senior utility player Linsey Hargis and junior left fielder Abbey Bevill. On the All-District 1-5A second team were junior infielder Morgan Dawson, senior outfielder Kristalyn Edwards and sophomore catcher Aubrey “Scooby” Haughtby. Honorable mention picks representing NCHS were junior centerfielder Alannah Bynog and junior second baseman Natalie Spillman.
Maddie Robinson had a 17-5 record in the circle for the Lady Chiefs, striking out 184 in 143.2 innings and posting a 2.10 ERA. She was 6-0 in district games. She also played some shortstop, and at the plate was a .389 hitter with a .489 on-base percentage and a hefty .740 slugging percentage, clubbing 11 home runs.
Stokes was a first-team pick as an infielder. She played shortstop and second base and led NCHS with a .483 batting average. She had a .589 on base percentage, a stout .787 slugging percentage, and hit .568 with runners in scoring position while slugging .710 with RISP. Stokes went 13-14 in stolen bases.
First baseman and pitcher Victoria Robinson was also a first-team all-district infielder. The Lady Chiefs’ leadoff hitter batted .464 with a .620 on base percentage and a .632 slugging percentage. She swiped 31 bases in 36 tries and posted a .516 batting average with runners in scoring position, while slugging .682 with RISP.
Hargis was a first-team selection as a utility player. The University of Memphis signee as a middle infielder was hampered by injury but posted a .470 batting average with a .518 on base rate and a team-best .820 slugging percentage. Hargis homered five times.
Bevill batted .294 and had a .415 on base percentage along with a .441 slugging percentage, plating 15 RBI.
Dawson collected 34 RBI while batting .392 with a .486 on base percentage, a .653 slugging percentage and RISP numbers of .402 batting and .652 slugging.
Edwards hit .225 and had a .344 on base percentage and .350 slugging percentage.
Houghtby had relatively few plate appearances, but coach Ronnie Abels praised her performance behind the plate. Houghtby’s defensive prowess kept opposing runners under control and earned the respect of the other district coaches.
“It was a fun season, and it was a very, very successful season,” said Abels. “Our seniors should be especially proud. We have a lot of girls coming back so we have a lot of optimism for not only next year, but the overall future.”