Red Hawk softball program presents End of Year Awards

Red Hawks’ pitcher Payton Goble (15) batting in the team’s inaugural season opener on February 3, 2020. (O-N-E file photo by Marcus Smith)
Cody Dalton
Special to the O-N-E

Bringing an official close to its first-ever season, the Catawba Valley Community College softball program announced its End of Year Awards on Wednesday.

“This group by the numbers and the effort they put forth, are a deserving bunch,” said CVCC head softball coach Josh Bumgarner. “I wish I could give everyone something. I feel that all of our players are deserving in some capacity. I am proud to be their coach.”

Seven individual awards were presented to Red Hawk softball players.

Infielder and pitcher Katelyn McClure was the recipient of the team’s Gold Glove Award, which is given to the best defender.

A West Iredell product, McClure finished the spring with a .972 fielding percentage and 63 put outs.

“When I think of Katelyn, I think of consistency,” Bumgarner said. “Obviously as our leadoff hitter, we need her to get on base consistently, and she does that. She sets the table offensively for us, but defensively she is just as if not more consistent with a glove on her hand. She played three different positions for our squad, had a top-three fielding percentage and the most put outs on our team. Her consistency and calmness will be something we miss going forward.”

The Silver Slugger Award was presented to pitcher and outfielder Payton Goble.

The former Bunker Hill High School product finished the 2020 season with a .421 batting average, .719 slugging percentage, 28 RBI and 11 extra-base hits.

“Payton is one of those players you want in the box late in the game with the tying or go ahead run on third,” Bumgarner said. “She either led or was near the top in just about all hitting statistic categories. In fact, she led our entire conference in RBIs. I am excited to have her back next year and have her pick up where she left off. She will be a very important leader for our squad accomplishing our goals we have for next season.”

Outfielder Erin Cole was the recipient of the “We Over Me” Award — given to the Catawba Valley softball player who embodies the program’s selfless motto and mentality.

“From the very beginning, our team has talked about having a ‘We Over Me’ mentality and culture,” Bumgarner said of Cole, a North Davidson High School product. “We are fortunate that we have an entire roster who believe in this motto, but none more so than Erin Cole. She is one of the first players to show up and one of the last to leave. She makes sure that all equipment is out at the beginning of games and practices and put up at the end. She is always willing to help a teammate no matter what the need is. I hope she knows how important she is to this team and our program. Her ‘lead by example’ style will be critical with our big recruiting class coming in next season.”

Catcher and outfielder Ashlyn Parsons was chosen for the Most Improved Award.

The former Bunker Hill High School standout recorded a .421 batting average, 11 extra-base hits, 22 runs scored and nine stolen bases this spring.

“Without question the most athletic player on our roster this year is Ashlyn,” Bumgarner said. “She hadn't played softball since her senior year of high school in 2016. From the last year until this spring, few if any worked harder than Ashlyn to get her skill set honed back in. That hard work pays off, and it definitely did in Ashlyn’s play as she was among leaders in several hitting statistic categories. No matter what she did, Ashlyn gave it her absolute best. She was also willing to do whatever we needed her to do — even volunteering to play catcher because we needed help there. Ashlyn will continue to be an important leader for our team next season. We are excited she has decided to come back.”

Chesney Millsaps was named the Red Hawks Pitcher of the Year. The Alexander Central High School product finished the spring with five wins and 34 strikeouts in 13 appearances.

“Chesney is a very smart player,” Bumgarner said. “She knows immediately what she does and how to correct it when she needs to. She had the most wins of all the pitchers and did a great job after taking a year off from pitching since she had graduated high school. Her poise under pressure will be something we miss without her next season.”

Finally, third baseman and outfielder Kelsea Dejarnette was named the Red Hawks Player of the Year.

Also a former Alexander Central High School standout, Dejarnette finished the 2020 season with a .422 batting average, .734 slugging percentage, five home runs and 21 RBI.

“Kelsea is very smart, hard working player,” Bumgarner said. “An outfielder fro 10u up until this fall when we needed help at third base and adjusted very quickly to the hot corner. She was at the top or in the top three in most statistical categories. She is great leader who leads by example, but has the ability to be vocal as well. We will miss her toughness and leadership next season.”

For a complete list of award winners, see below:

CVCC Softball End of Year Awards

Player of the Year

3B/OF Kelsea Dejarnette (.422 AVG, .734 SLG, 5 HR, 21 RBI)

Pitcher of the Year

P Chesney Millsaps (49.1 IP, 13 APP, 5 W, 34 K)

Most Improved Award

C/OF Ashlyn Parsons (.421 AVG, 11 XBH, 9 SB, 22 R)

Gold Glove Award

INF/P Katelyn McClure (63 put outs, .972 fielding percentage)

Slugger Award

P/OF Payton Goble (.421 AVG, .719 SLG, 28 RBI, 11 XBH)

The “We Over Me” Award

OF Erin Cole