George West’s pitcher Maggie Ham was selected as the area’s Most Valuable Player and the Lady Longhorns coach, Chuck Pawelek, was named the Coach of the Year.
Ham was also named the state’s 2A Most Valuable Player of the championship game for her hitting and pitching performances in the title game, a 1-0 win over defending state champion Brock.
The junior hurler went 31-4 on the year for the Longhorns who finished the year at 33-6. She struck out an astonishing 498 batters in 214 innings on the year, with 31 of those coming in the two-game set at the state tournament. Her 16-strikeout performance against Brock in the championship game tied a UIL record for the event.
Her earned run average for the year was a mere 0.26 and Ham produced 19 shutouts and she had 12 no-hitters.
Ham not only was great in the circle for the Lady Horns, she also hit .500 on the season and was a perfect 4-4 in the championship game, which tied another UIL record for the contest.
Ham has verbally committed to attend University of Louisiana at Lafayette and play for the Ragin’ Cajuns but she has one more year as a Lady Longhorn and would like nothing more than to earn a repeat trip to the championship game for a chance at a second straight state 2A title.
George West softball head coach Chuck Pawelek just completed his fourth year as the Lady Horns’ coach. His team brought the first state softball title back to the Coastal Bend region since the inception of softball as a sanctioned UIL sport in 1993. He was named the Coach of the Year by the Caller-Times on Sunday.
The Lady Horns were never ranked as the No. 1 team in the state in 2A until after the championship contest. But the GW girls defeated top-ranked Danbury in the regional playoffs and then the defending state champ, Brock, to capture the state title.
There will be a big target on their backs next year but with the loss of just two seniors, the Lady Horns relish the task and will be looking to make the return trip to Austin next June.
Bruce Harper is the sports editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 123, or at sports@mySouTex.com.