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All-Area Player of the Year: Rudnik clutch for Buford
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Buford's Alysha Rudnik is The Times All-Area Softball Player of the Year - photo by Tom Reed | The Times

All-Area Coach of the Year: West Hall's Warren Sellers

All-Area Softball

First team

Karly Fullem

Buford

Class: Junior

Position: Pitcher

Notable: 0.78 ERA, 12-2 on the season
 

Megan Rogers

North Hall

Class: Senior

Position: Pitcher

Notable: 0.47 ERA, 110 strikeouts, 2 no-hitters

Alysha Rudnik

Buford

Class: Senior

Position: Catcher

Notable: Batted .474 with 7 home runs

Caitlin Fowler

Flowery Branch

Class: Sophomore

Position: Infielder

Notable: Batted .478 with 4 home runs

Chelsie Thomas

Buford

Class: Junior

Position: Infielder

Emily Hammond

West Hall

Class: Senior

Position: Infielder

Notable: Batted .356, 11/11 stolen bases

Morgan Jacobson

White County

Class: Sophomore

Position: Outfielder

Notable: Batted .450 with 8 home runs

Lexi Overstreet

Buford

Class: Sophomore

Position: Outfielder

Notable: Batted .380 with 30 RBIs

Stephanie Satterfield

White County

Class: Junior

Position: Utility

Notable: 13 wins,batted .422, 27 RBIs

Jessica Laird

Jackson County

Class: Junior

Position: Outfielder

Notable: Batted .346 with .462 OBP

Kaitlyn Seabolt

Union County

Class: Junior

Position: Infielder

Notable: Batted .421, 14 doubles, 20 runs scored

All-Area Softball

Second team

Melissa Dickie

Buford

Class: Junior

Position: Pitcher

Notable: 0.69 ERA, 9-2

Angie Hughes

Union County

Class: Sophomore

Position: Pitcher

Notable: 1.37 ERA, 239 strikeouts in 174 IP

Bailey Soucie

West Hall

Class: Senior

Position: Catcher

Notable: Batted .329 with 17 RBIs

Jenna Abbott

Dawson County

Class: Freshman

Position: Infielder

Notable: Batted .545 with 27 RBIs

Tori Dyer

Union County

Class: Junior

Position: Infielder

Notable: Batted .375 with 18 RBIs

Madison Franklin

Banks County

Class: Sophomore

Position: Infielder

Notable: Batted .385 with 12 RBIs

Frankie Walls

Lumpkin County

Class: Junior

Position: Infielder

Notable: Batted .361 with 22 runs scored and 10 RBIs

Chelsea Miller

East Hall

Class: Sophomore

Position: Outfielder

Notable: Batted .339

Kim Thomas

Banks County

Class: Senior

Position: Outfielder

Notable: Batted .350 with 12 RBIs

Heather Hamilton

Towns County

Class: Senior

Position: Outfielder

Notable: Batter .386 with 12 stolen bases

Whitney Kelly

Union County

Class: Junior

Position: Utility

Notable: Batted .358 with 7 home runs and 27 RBIs

All-Area Softball

Honorable mentions

Banks County

McKenna Rylee, Fr.

Jordan Rogers, So.

Buford High

Whitney Wolfe, Jr.

Kallie Case

Commerce

Brittany Beauchamp, Sr.

Kelsey Beck, Sr.

Jessie Flint, Sr.

Peyton Maddox, Sr.

Dawson County

Sydney Cox, Sr.


East Hall High

Keri Jones, So.

Flowery Branch High

Rachel Duden, Jr.

Cally Orr, Jr.

Gainesville

Rebecca Lawrence, Sr.

Natalie Allen, So.

Habersham Central

Jordin Ellingson, So.

Lydia Gerrin, Jr.

Abby Hulsey, So.

Charlotte Lewallen, Jr.


Jackson County High

Brooke Griggs, Jr.

Madison Whitmire, Fr.

Jefferson High

Brittney Smith, Sr.

Paige Pate, So.

Lumpkin County

Whitney Brown, Fr.

Katie Copeland, Sr.

Courtney Dyer, Jr.

Kailey Miller, Jr.

Kelsie Smith, Sr.

North Hall High

Amber Youngblood, Jr.

Danielle Newbern, Jr.

Towns County

Kayla Roberts,Jr.

Claire Wilson, Fr.

West Hall

Miranda Miller, So.

Madison Strickland, Jr.

White County

Heather Herdliska, So.

Callie McDonald, So.

Lindsay Messmore, Sr.

Laura Sangster, Jr.

BUFORD Behind all of Alysha Rudnik’s accomplishments on the softball field is a very polite, well-spoken young lady.

Rudnik, the Buford High senior catcher and a Georgia Tech commit, will speak about what she’s accomplished on the softball field in detail when asked, but it is perfectly clear from the tone of her voice that she’s not out for individual praise.

"I really don’t try to do anything big, I just wanted to do everything I could to help this team win," Rudnik said. "I gave it all I had because I loved being a part of this team."

However, what she’s accomplished on the field for the Lady Wolves in her four-year career is quite extensive. Rudnik led the Lady Wolves with a .474 batting average, seven home runs and 37 hits. She was also a force behind the plate with approximately 2,700 pitches received and only three passed balls allowed and four stolen bases surrendered, according to team statistician Brad Brown.

For her efforts, Rudnik is The Times 2009 Area Softball Player of the Year.

"She is an incredibly gifted athlete and is really driven to be successful," Buford coach Tony Wolfe said. "She has tremendous poise."

Rudnik acknowledged that individual accomplishments are nice, however, it is the history Buford made as the three-time defending Class AA state champions that matters most to the future Yellow Jacket.

"The state titles are one of the best feelings," Rudnik said. "To know we went out as the state champions and leaving a legacy for this program is a great accomplishment for our team."

While Rudnik was clutch in almost all situations, it was in the most critical moments of the season when she seemed to take control.

Wolfe says that this year’s state title series against Rockmart in Columbus was the best example. Rudnik’s effort behind the plate very easily could have been the deciding factor after the Wolves dropped the first game of the day to Rockmart, 2-0.

Needing a win in the second game against Rockmart to claim the state title, Rudnik stepped to the plate with two outs and the game still scoreless in the first inning. With two strikes in the count, Rudnik was concentrating solely on getting a base hit. However, she provided the jolt the team needed to bring home yet another state title with a solo home run that led to a 9-0 victory.

"It felt really good to know we had scored after getting shut out the previous game," Rudnik said. "That gave us some momentum we really needed at that point."

As a junior, Rudnik also brought that same clutch element to the Lady Wolves in the state semifinals, in that instance against Calhoun. Tied in the eighth inning with no score, the Lady Yellow Jackets had the bases loaded with no outs.

When Calhoun tried to utilize a suicide squeeze to bring home the winning run and the batter failed to make contact, Rudnik had the presence of mind to throw back to third and catch the lead runner in a run down. Buford managed to get the next two batters out before giving up any runs, and then scored in the bottom of the eighth inning to win, and eventually claim the state title against Calhoun in the following game.

"Alysha found a way to perform in the big moments," Wolfe said. "Not everyone can perform under such high pressure, but she would find a way to get it done."

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