Lady Panthers win numerous District 15-4A honors

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Although the 2018 season for the Bullard Lady Panther varsity softball is now in the chronicles of history, the team’s players are being recognized for a strong season of play, as the UIL District 15-4A All-District Selections list was recently released.

Senior catcher Destinee Dixon was the top award winner for the Lady Panthers, as she was a force behind the plate as the team’s field general, earning her the District 15-4A Defensive Most Valuable Player award.

Throughout the season, Destinee Dixon was a defensive juggernaut for Bullard, recording a .988 fielding percentage, with 171 putouts out of 173 chances, committing just two errors.

She also was a strong presence at the plate, adding on a .368 batting average with a total of 25 hits (15 singles, five doubles, four triples, and one home run), with 41 scored runs and 34 runs batted in.

The Lady Panthers’ newest addition in the bullpen also took home one of the district’s top awards, as freshman pitcher Ariel Matula was named the Co-Pitcher of the Year, along with Gilmer’s Madeline Barber.

In her inaugural season with the Bullard varsity squad, Matula threw in a total of 143 innings, recording a 1.615 earned run average, allowing 98 hits, 53 runs, and 282 earned runs, while striking out 141 batters, amassing 28 walks, and hitting four players.

Matula also picked up a .771 fielding percentage, with 27 putouts out of 35 opportunities, committing a total of eight errors. She also swung for a .160 batting average with four hits (two singles, two doubles), with nine RBIs.

Bullard also had an additional player in their first season with the team take home a top recognition, as freshman infielder Gabby Nichols was honored as the Co-Freshman of the Year, along with Kilgore’s Bailey Hedges.

At the plate, Nichols built up a .286 batting average with 22 total hits (20 singles, two doubles), with 33 scored runs and 13 RBIs. She also recorded a .915 fielding percentage, with 75 putouts out of 82 attempts, and seven committed errors.

The final top award for the Lady Panther varsity softball team was claimed by head coach Megan Dobrinski and her assistant coaches (Julie Murry, Marisa Ledkins, and Kaegan Jimenez), as the coaches were named the District 15-4A Coaching Staff of the Year.

The Lady Panthers were able to prowl their way to collecting a total of four recognitions on the district’s First Team All-District list, including sophomore infielder Jolee Dixon, junior outfielder Aspyn Grossman, sophomore designated player Payton Hancock, and junior infielder Ashlyn Seaton.

Jolee Dixon held a key bat in the Lady Panthers’ lineup, collecting a .289 batting average with 24 total hits (18 singles, two doubles, two triples, two home runs), with 23 RBIs and 18 runs scored. She also added a .737 fielding percentage, with 13 putouts out of 18 opportunities, and five errors.

An asset to the team in the field, Grossman held a solid .962 fielding percentage, with 24 putouts out of 26 attempts, and just one error committed. She also amassed a .421 batting average, swinging for 40 hits (37 singles, two doubles, one triple), with 36 runs scored and 12 RBIs.

Hancock also swung the strong steel at the plate for Bullard, taking home a .356 batting average with 26 hits (22 singles, four doubles), with 18 RBIs and 16 runs scored. She also collected a .853 fielding percentage with 29 putouts out of 34 chances, and five committed errors.

Seaton was strong in the field, carrying a .957 fielding percentage, with 64 putouts out of 69 attempts, and three errors committed. She also proved to be strong at the plate, hitting for a .449 batting average with 40 total hits (21 singles, 10 doubles, five triples, four home runs), with 41 runs scored and 34 RBIs.

Seaton also saw action for the Lady Panthers in the circle, holding to a 1.441 ERA in 34 innings pitched, allowing 28 hits, 18 runs, and seven earned runs, while amassing 34 strikeouts, nine walks, and three batters hit.

The Bullard softball team also claimed their stake to two recognitions on the District 15-4A Second Team All-District List, including freshman infielder Claire Cannon and senior outfielder Reagan Bell.

Cannon’s bat provided for a .310 batting average at the plate, connecting on 26 this (23 singles, one double, two triples), with 28 runs scored and 25 RBIs. She also collected a .860 batting average with 79 putouts out of 93 opportunities, and 13 errors committed.

In the field, Bell’s glove caught a .929 fielding percentage, with 26 putouts out of 28 chances, and two committed errors. She also hit for a .243 batting average with a total of 17 hits (13 singles, one double, two triples, one home run), with 13 RBIs and 23 runs scored.

The final player award collected by the Lady Panthers’ softball team was on the district’s Honorable Mention list, with junior infielder Sydney Foster taking home the recognition.

With a bat in her hand, Foster swung for a .264 batting average with a total of 19 hits (15 singles, four doubles), with 19 RBIs and 10 runs scored. She also was credited with a .857 fielding percentage (with 23 putouts out of 28 chances, and four errors.

Several members of the team were also named to the District 15-4A Academic All-District list, including Bell, Cannon, Caitlyn Colston, Kenzie Colston, Destinee Dixon, Jolee Dixon, Doster, Grossman, and Nichols.

The Bullard Lady Panther varsity softball team wrapped up the 2018 season with a record of 25-6-1, 9-1 in district play, and was recognized as the District, Bi-District, and Area Champions.

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