While 24-6A showcased some of the best hitting softball teams around the Houston area, their numbers always seemed to take an abrupt dive when facing Rachel Hertenberger from the pitching circle in 2017.
The Alvin Lady Yellowjackets’ junior hurler limited the rest of the district’s hitters to only six earned runs in 14 games and sported an impressive 13-1 league record with 152 strikeouts in 91 innings.
“Rachel just had a phenomenal year,” Lady Yellowjackets’ head coach David McCorkle said.
Hertenberger delivered the type of season that also made it a no-brainer for the right-hander to be selected as the district’s most valuable player by the 24-6A softball coaches.
Leading the Lady Jackets to the league crown, Hertenberger went 21-6 overall with 257 strikeouts and a 1.06 earned run average in 165 innings. The 257 strikeouts by Hertenberger broke the previous Alvin school K record of Jessica Denham, who fanned 247 hitters in 2002.
The junior also supplied plenty of offensive damage with a .394 batting average, a team-leading 20 RBI’s and three home runs. Hertenberger was joined on the All-District 24-6A first team by sophomore shortstop Clarissa Barron (at-large pick) and junior outfielder Jordan McDonald. Barron batted a team-leading .442 with 28 runs scored, 17 RBI’s and 11 doubles, while McDonald hit .325 with 20 runs scored and 14 RBI’s.
McCorkle was tabbed as the league’s top coach after guiding Alvin to a 23-6 record, while Clear Creek pitcher Megan Lee earned newcomer of the year honors.
Other first team selections included third baseman Brianna Aranzeta (Clear Creek), outfielder Brianna Devault (Clear Springs), second baseman Angela Donaldson (Clear Falls), at-large pick Dani Elder (Clear Springs), pitcher Haven Franks (Friendswood), designated player Cecilia Huff (Clear Creek), shortstop Baylee Kingler (Dickinson), first baseman Lindsey Leistad (Clear Creek), outfielder Jessica Skladal (Clear Creek), outfielder Shea Smith (Clear Springs), catcher Hannah Thompson (Dickinson), utility player Laura Whitney (Clear Springs) and outfielder Ebony Wiltz (Dickinson).
Junior catcher Ciara Jimenez was named to the second team for Alvin, along with freshman third baseman Mary Pourcio, while junior outfielder Avery Hearn and junior second baseman MacKenzie Savage both gained honorable mention status.
The rest of the second team featured catcher Alexis Barton (Clear Brook), at-large pick Hannah Carpenter (Friendswood), outfielder Kaela Cook (Clear Creek), outfielder Dariane Cram (Dickinson), first baseman Kendall Cross (Friendswood), first baseman Maddison Demers (Clear Falls), at-large selection Kristan Dietz (Dickinson), outfielder Emily Jackson (Friendswood), shortstop Savannah Hartman (Friendswood), outfielder Katie Hoke (Clear Falls), utility player Addie Lewis (Clear Lake), at-large selection Ashley Ramber (Clear Creek), DP Erica Riley (Clear Falls), pitcher Marissa Vasquez (Dickinson) and second baseman Taylor Warner (Clear Brook).
Despite getting eliminated from the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 1999, Alvin advanced to the postseason for the 21st time in the last 22 years.