RIO VISTA — The Rio Vista Lady Eagles top the all-district softball team in District 12-2A with nine selections, a league high, despite finishing second behind Hi in the standings.
Hico, the district champion, received seven All-District team selections while Hamilton, the third-place team, had eight players who earned All-District honors.
Rio Vista went 10-2 in district play and reached the regional round of the playoffs before falling to Archer City.
Rio Vista coach Keith Johnson said he was “very pleased” with the Lady Eagles’ representation on the all-district team.
“I thought it showed what a team effort it was this year to have nine players in all districts,” Johnson said. “Everyone contributed to the team and everyone knew what their role was and they were rewarded for playing their part.”
Of the nine selections from all districts in Rio Vista, only two are seniors, which bodes well for the 2023 season with the return of seven performers from all districts.
“It’s very exciting,” Johnson said. “Not only because of that, but three of them will be seniors next year who will be entering their third year from college and have playoff experience in the past two years, so you’ll have great leadership there plus we’ve launched five freshmen in the playoffs so it’s very exciting that they got that experience and learned what it takes to get to the level next.
Rio Vista saw three players receive outstanding recognition – Autumn Adrin as Offensive MVP, rookie Kailee Dyer as pitcher of the year and rookie Keller Rodriguez as newcomer of the year.
Adrin was an obvious choice for offensive MVP after hitting .735 with a .780 on-base percentage and 1.059 hitting percentage with 20 RBI and 22 in-game district runs.
“It didn’t matter where Autumn beat — whether we put her second or third or even ninth — she didn’t care,” Johnson said. “She came in with the mentality that she’s done this long enough and seen every pitch, so she had a lot of confidence. She also went there with a mentality that every drummer should be a good drummer. She realized that it didn’t have to be a home run or a double every time at bat for it to be quality at bat. She just wanted it to be quality at bat every time. So little things from her like that were great for leading the way.
Dyer has been stellar for the Lady Eagles in the circle with big shoes to fill after Haila Linton’s record-breaking four-year career in Rio Vista. In district play, Dyer struck out 70 batters for just five walks and 10 earned runs allowed in 41 1/3 innings for a 1.69 ERA and 1.065 WHIP ratio. Dyer was also a standout hitter as she hit .514 with a .649 slugging percentage with 13 RBIs and eight runs in district play.
“Kailee was just a competitor,” Johnson said. “What stood out to me about her as a freshman was that nothing ever phased her. She didn’t shake herself. She was a little nervous on her first few starts. as a couple, but what makes her so great is that she didn’t want to let her teammates down.On the rare occasions when she had a draw, she told her teammates that she was sorry and that She was then going to give her teammates every chance to compete and win the next game.
Rodriguez was vital to Rio Vista’s success as a rare freshman who filled multiple roles at the college level. She cut .412/.565/.706 in district play with 14 RBIs and 26 runs.
“There was no challenge too big for her,” Johnson said. “She beat the lead for us. She played shortstop, third baseman, receiver, outfield — she played four or five different positions for us, which is rare for a freshman. From the starting point, she picked up a few games with her batting and speed on the bases. She brought it to all phases of the game and even her knowledge of the game was important to us.
Rio Vista saw four players receive First Team All-District honors in senior infielder Lybbertie Hutchison, freshman infielder Abby Pritchett, junior outfielder Randi Wilson and freshman outfielder Addison Findley. Junior players Gracie Benoit and Grace Groening received second-team honors for the Lady Eagles.
Hico’s sophomore, Kiersten Fincannon, was voted District 12-2A Most Valuable Player.