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Tori! Tori! Tori! Davis lands top honor


Cherokee County's Tori Davis dominated in circle in 2012. (Photo by Marc Golden | Gadsden Times | File)


Going into the 2012 softball season, big questions loomed for the Cherokee County softball team.

After a state runner-up finish in 2011, the Warriors lost not only their biggest bat in All-State shortstop Kaitlyn Griffith, but also their top pitcher in Lauren Millsaps, another All-State performer.

Cherokee County needed somebody to step up, and Tori Davis answered the bell in a big way. For her performance, Davis was chosen The Gadsden Times’ 2012 All-Area Softball Player of the Year.

Davis, a junior who also was chosen as the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Class 4A state player of the year, was brilliant in circle and at the plate. She went 39-3 with a 0.60 ERA and struck out 275 batters in 255 innings of work. At the plate, Davis hit .496 with five homers, 17 doubles, 38 runs scored and 42 RBI.

Her performance, along with that of her teammates, was enough to earn Cherokee County another state runner-up finish.

Davis was one of three Warriors to make the Times’ All-Area first-team, joining catcher Madison Millsaps and second baseman Darbie Rosser. Cherokee County coach Travis Barnes also was chosen as the Times’ All-Area Coach of the Year.

Millsaps, a sophomore, batted a team-best .551 with seven homers, 20 doubles, 42 RBI and 38 runs scored, while Rosser posted a .413 average with seven homers, 10 doubles, 45 RBI and 32 runs scored.

Albertville’s Peighton Ponder and Fort Payne’s Megan Cole joined Davis as the first-team pitchers. Ponder went 31-10 with a 1.79 ERA and 218 strikeouts in 254 innings in helping the Aggies reach the state tournament. Cole helped the Wildcats to the Class 5A Northeast Regional tournament a year after missing the entire 2011 season while recovering from surgery. She recently signed to play next season at Gadsden State.

Joining Rosser on the infield were a pair of Albertville players — first baseman Katlin Light and shortstop Emily Woodruff — along with Collinsville third bagger Trista Duque.

Light batted .408 with seven homers, 42 RBI and 34 runs scored, while Woodruff, a sophomore who recently verbally committed to Jacksonville State, hit .485 with six homers, 23 doubles, 42 RBI and 58 runs scored. She also was a terror on the basepaths as evidenced by her 47 stolen bases.

Duque batted .514 with two homers, 15 doubles, 51 RBI and 35 runs scored.

The first-team outfield consisted of Sylvania’s Taylor Frazier, Cedar Bluff’s Suzie Quarles and Spring Garden’s Jordan Sides. Frazier batted .404 with six doubles, 12 homers and 44 RBI for the Rams, while Quarles hit .424 with 14 doubles, 26 RBI and 33 runs. Sides posted a .500 average with eight doubles, 29 RBI and 60 runs.

Sides’ teammate, Heather Smart, made the first team at designated hitter after batting .583 with 13 doubles, eight triples, three homers, 39 RBI and 46 runs scored. The utility position was filled by Sand Rock’s McKenna Morgan, who went 19-8 in circle while batting .468 with 17 doubles, three homers and 33 RBI.

Those given honorable mention nods included Crossville pitcher Haley Hughes, Collinsville catcher Christy Cox, Cherokee County first baseman Molly Brewer, Sand Rock second baseman Megan McCullough, Spring Garden second baseman Jessica Smart, Cherokee County shortstop Candace Blanchard, Fort Payne shortstop Kelsey Hughes, Sand Rock third baseman Madison Smith, Spring Garden outfielder Elizabeth Spoon and designated hitters Katlin Hammett of Gaylesville and Allie Duke of Geraldine.