Prep notebook, May 28: Bluffton, Whale Branch softball stars named All-State

sports@islandpacket.comMay 28, 2014 

Bluffton's Morganne Parker swings to hit the ball during their game against Cane Bay in the Class 4-A softball playoffs on Friday night at Bluffton High School.

DELAYNA EARLEY — Delayna Earley Buy Photo

A pair of Bluffton High School seniors and a Whale Branch Early College High School junior were on the All-State softball teams released over the weekend by the S.C Coaches Association for Women's Sports.

Pitcher Courtney Smith and outfielder Morganne Parker were chosen from the state runner-up Bobcats, and pitcher Olivia Walker was selected from the Warriors.

Smith was the ace for coach Bill Ball's squad again this year, finishing the season 27-5. Heading into the state championship series last week, the Limestone signee had an ERA of 1.10 with 269 strikeouts in 178 innings pitched. At the plate, she hit .333 with seven doubles and 20 RBIs.

Parker was the Bobcats' top hitter with an average of .561 behind 60 hits for the season up to the final series. The College of Charleston signee had 13 RBIs and was a team-best 7 for 7 in stolen bases. Parker struck out just five times in 117 plate appearances.

Walker, the Player of the Year for Region 5-A, hit .684 with 19 RBIs, 15 stolen bases and 19 runs scored. On the mound, the Warriors' ace and team MVP was 12-10 with a 3.05 ERA, earning all of the team's wins for the season. She struck out 78 in 70 innings of work.

Whale Branch coach Charlie Simmons said Walker drove the Warriors' ship this season, dominating on the mound and leading the team in batting average and RBIs.


Smith and Parker were also chosen to play for the South squad in the 4-A/1-A North-South game to be held in June in Bluffton.

Joining the Bluffton duo is Beaufort High's Natalie Moore.


Bluffton High School's Chance Murphy and Beaufort High School's Carson Gregory have been selected to represent the 4-A/1-A South squad for the North-South All-Star baseball games to be held June 12-14 at the Ripken Experience in Myrtle Beach.

Murphy and Gregory join Bluffton baseball coach Bryant Kitty, a coach for the South squad.

Kitty said Murphy pitched against all of the Bobcats' tough opponents.

"If we had a chance of winning," Kitty said, "usually it was with Chance on the mound."

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