Cornersville trio named to MTSCA All-Midstate Team

Friday, July 1, 2011

After helping to lead the Cornersville Lady Bulldogs to a third place finish in the Class A State Tournament this past spring, senior pitcher Haley Fagan, junior shortstop Makenzie Hopkins, and senior catcher Lindsey Dalton recently garnered some postseason honors when they were selected to the Middle Tennessee Softball Coaches Association (MTSCA) All-Midstate Team.

Despite pitching only once during the first four weeks of the season due to a back injury, Fagan compiled a 14-5 record in the circle and recorded four shutouts en route to being named the District 11-A regular season and tournament MVP.

Although the injury limited the University of Tennessee signee's time in the circle, Fagan missed only a handful of games and played first base when she wasn't able to pitch while batting cleanup for most of the season.

At the plate, Fagan finished the regular season with a .364 batting average with 14 doubles, a triple, and four home runs before hitting a robust .441 in the playoffs with three doubles.

The Tennessean also named Fagan to their All-Midstate Second Team, which includes both public and private schools from all classifications, and was just one of two Class A players to be chosen to the Nashville newspaper's three squads.

"Haley played hurt the entire season and showed leadership by example," said Cornersville coach Spencer Mitchell. "It took the excuse away from the other players that my boo boo hurts today. Being able to pitch and stay focused while being in pain says a lot about her."

A two-time All-District selection, Hopkins was bit by the injury bug as well and missed the first three weeks of the 2011 campaign after breaking her left wrist during the basketball playoffs.

While wrist injuries usually prove to be a crippling blow for most hitters, Hopkins came back strong at the plate and posted a .346 batting average during the regular season with 11 doubles, two triples, and one home run. Hopkins then found another gear in the postseason and hit a blistering .473 during the Lady Bulldogs' playoff run, which included an 8-for-14 effort in the State Tournament, to go along with five doubles and one triple.

"Makenzie is special because when she puts a uniform on she's ready to play," said Mitchell. "With her wrist, she felt a sting every time she swung the bat, but she battled through that. She was out nearly half the season and didn't get a chance to see live pitching during that time so that tells you how good her hand-eye coordination is. She also helped stabilize our defense when she came back because we were shuffling everyone around while she was out."

Dalton, meanwhile, was a four-year starter for Cornersville and a three-time All-District selection. After playing third base her first three years, Dalton switched to catcher her senior year, but also saw time at shortstop and in the outfield while Hopkins was sidelined.

Dalton finished the regular season with a stellar .454 batting average, 10 doubles, two triples, and one home run, before hitting .387 in the playoffs to go along with a two doubles and a game winning two-run homer against Richland in the District tournament championship contest. With her two-run shot against Richland, it was the third time that Dalton belted a late game-winning home run in her CHS career.

"Lindsey is going to come through anytime there's a clutch situation like she did against Ravenwood and Richland this year," said Mitchell. "She's pretty versatile and you can put her almost anywhere. She can probably play any position you ask her to except pitcher and she'd even give that a try."

Fagan and Dalton were also named to the MTSCA All Academic Team along with fellow teammates Brittney Crowell and Brianna Johnson.