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Canetto named Region 4AA Player of the Year

In a seldom seen move, the Region 4AA softball coaches opted for a player on a region season runner-up instead of region champion for top honors when the skippers named SCHS senior Kara Canetto the 4AA Player of the Year at a meeting last week.  

Joining Canetto on the All-Region Softball Team were sophomore pitcher Sarah Beasley, senior catcher Maggie Hafer, and senior second baseman Payton Ward.

Few and far between are the times both the Player of the Year and the Pitcher of the Year do not come from the region champion. 

While the region championship series, most likely between SCHS and Harlem High School, is still to be played on Oct. 4, the Lady Bulldogs are 4AA regular season champions and could easily have had the POY. 

Canetto’s worksheet, however, was more than enough to earn the award.

Through the Lady Gamecocks’ win over Jenkins County on Monday, Canetto, who has committed to Liberty University, was hitting a team leading .582 (39-for-67) with 27 RBI, 37 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases. Her .470 career average (152-324) is the highest ever. She also holds the career record for hits and stolen bases (now more than 100). She has made First Team All-Region for four consecutive seasons.

The Pitcher of the Year for 4AA was Harlem lefty Skyler Wiggins.

For the other three first-teamers, the honors were not their first. 

Beasley, who shared First Team Pitcher honors with Westside’s Becca Schadle, also shared the honor a year ago. After Monday, Beasley was 7-4 with a 0.94 ERA. 

Hafer, who has committed to Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, was Honor Mention All 4AA last season from behind the plate and Second Team All-3AA from first base in 2015. Currently, Hafer is hitting .509 (28-55) with a team-leading 32 RBI. 

Ward, who has committed to East Georgia State College, was First Team All-Region 3AA from her second base in 2015 and Second Team All-Region 4AA from second last season. She is currently hitting .361 (22-61).

Named to the Second Team were sophomore infielder Meliyah Atkins, along with senior outfielders Pamela Dixon and GeeGee Beasley.

Atkins is hitting .357 (20-56); Beasley .355 (22-62); and Dixon, who is known for her defense prowess, .190 (8-42).