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10 from Harmony Grove named to All-Conference, All-State

by Michael Hanich | May 19, 2023 at 4:45 p.m.
Photo By; Michael Hanich Harmony Grove shortstop Caleb Johnson up to bat in the game against Drew Central.

The 2023 high school baseball and softball seasons were huge successes for both the Harmony Grove Hornets and Lady Hornets. Both teams had overall records well above .500% and made to the regional tournaments. They had successful seasons due to their talented rosters.

All of the players were rewarded for their tremendous seasons at Harmony Grove High's athletics banquet on Monday.

During the banquet, the All-State and All-Conference selections on the Hornets and Lady Hornets were announced. The baseball team had two All-State players and five players named as All-Conference selections. The Lady Hornets had one All-State player while two more were named to the All-Conference team.

Senior Braden Brown is one of two Harmony Grove baseball players chosen as an All-State selection.

Brown was the most dynamic player for the Hornets this season, an impact player in the batting, pitching and fielding games. Brown had a team-high batting average of .449, an on-base percentage of .500, a team-high in hits (44), a team-high in double-base hits, one home run, 29 RBIs, 28 runs, 10 walks and only six strikeouts. As one of the team's starting pitchers, Brown had a season ERA of 2.348 while allowing 48 hits, 20 runs, 24 walks while delivering 59 strikeouts in 53.2 innings pitched. Finally, in the fielding game, Brown accounted for 35 putouts and 20 assists.

Junior shortstop Caleb Johnson continues to be one of the most efficient fielders and power-hitters in south Arkansas. This was Johnson's third consecutive season to be named to the 3A All-State team. Johnson finished the season with a .443 batting average, an on-base percentage of .549, 39 hits, a team-high five home runs, 17 walks, 19 stolen bases and 19 strikeouts.

The five players for the Hornets that were chosen as All-Conference selections were junior pitcher/infielder Mason Morgan, senior pitcher/infielder Andrew Taylor, senior infielder Hayden Bussell, senior catcher Lane Davis and senior pitcher/outfielder Gabe Johnson.

Morgan was arguably the best pitcher for the Hornets this season as he accounted for a team-high 71 strikeouts and a season ERA of 1.421 in 44.1 innings pitched. Taylor also played well in the batting, pitching and fielding portions of the game. Bussell got better as the season progressed and accounted for 39 hits, 31 runs, a batting average of .419 and an on-base percentage of .486. Bussell was given the Hornets' newcomer of the year award at the Hornets' athletic banquet.

Davis was a reliable pitcher, batter and fielder for the Hornets, but his best position this season was at catcher, where he accounted for a team-high 148 putouts, 12 assists and no fielding errors. Gabe Johnson was a high-volume pitcher, but his productivity in the outfield was needed more this season. He was also solid as a batter by accounting for 21 hits, 22 RBIs, 21 runs and 14 walks in 72 at-bats.

The one All-State player for the Lady Hornets was junior pitcher Avery Furr, who had a special season. In 96.2 innings pitched and 17 starts (21 games played) this season, Furr allowed 99 hits, 69 runs, 28 walks and a season ERA of 3.186 while delivering 134 strikeouts. She was one of the most consistent pitchers in the conference and in south Arkansas. She was also an efficient batter this season for the Lady Hornets by accounting for 11 hits, 11 RBIs, 10 runs and an on-base percentage of .368.

Senior pitcher/infielder Cameron Everett and senior catcher Kailee Riggs ended their high school softball careers as All-Conference selections. Both Everett and Riggs were dynamic players as they impacted the Lady Hornets in multiple ways.

Everett was a stellar player and the second-option at pitcher after Furr. She was also efficient in the fielding game at first base and a batter. As a batter, Everett accounted for 15 hits, three double-base hits, seven walks, 11 RBIs, 13 walks, only 15 strikeouts, a batting average of .231 and an on-base percentage of .367 in 65 at-bats. In 48 innings pitched and seven starts (13 games played), Everett allowed 42 hits, 35 runs, 31 walks and a season ERA of 2.625 while delivering 51 strikeouts. In her main position as a first baseman, she was second on the team in putouts accounted for (63) while delivering two double-plays.

Riggs was a highly productive player for the Lady Hornets in the batting and the fielding games. In 70 at-bats, Riggs accounted for a team-high in hits (23), batting average (.329), on-base percentage (.420) and slugging percentage (.471). She also accounted for 15 single-base hits, six double-base hits, three runs, 13 RBIs, seven walks and only eight strikeouts. As a catcher, Riggs led the team in total chances accounting for an out at 202 and putouts at 192. She assisted with nine putouts while encountering one error throughout the entire season.

photo Photo By: Michael Hanich Harmony Grove pitcher Avery Furr gets set to pitch in the game against McGehee.

Print Headline: 10 from Harmony Grove named to All-Conference, All-State


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