Latham earns Player of the Year honors; Dunson takes Coach award

Abbey Latham hit a pair of homers against Jackson Tuesday in a 10-3 Demopolis win.

Abbey Latham hit a pair of homers against Jackson in a contest earlier this season. She won West Alabama Watchman Player of the Year honors following a 12-homer season in which she hit .571.

In a season that saw her team come within one win of making the state tournament, Abbey Latham was the major offensive force the Demopolis Tigers. The junior backstop hit .571 with 12 homers, 20 doubles, three triples, 20 walks, 57 RBIs and a perfect 18 of 18 on stolen base attempts.

A North-South All-Star Game selection and a firm Ole Miss commit, Latham boasted a nearly flawless offensive and defensive game for the Tigers in 2016. Her efforts made her the clear choice for West Alabama Watchman Player of the Year honors for the second consecutive year even amid a field that saw five other players hit .400 or better on the season.

Joining Latham on the list of honorees is Demopolis coach Brittany Dunson, who takes Coach of the Year recognition in her first season atop the Class 5A program. The Lady Tigers were one win away from the state tournament and lost two games in Troy, a 4-3 defeat to Marbury and a 3-1 setback at the hands of Helena. Marbury and Helena were the final two unbeaten standing in the Class 5A state tournament.

Beyond that fact, Dunson took her team to a 25-14 mark despite having only two seniors and two juniors on the roster and counting on eighth graders in key spots at first base and in left field.

Dunson worked her squad through a weather-frustrated season that saw numerous scheduled dates lost and managed to draw the best from her team at the most important moments.

The 2016 West Alabama Watchman All-County Softball Team is:

C – Abbey Latham, Demopolis

1B – Bria Brown, Demopolis

2B – Ryan Hale, Marengo Academy

3B – Courtney Smith, Demopolis

SS – Macey Petrey, Marengo Academy

OF – Jessica Adams, Demopolis

OF – Payton Stokes, Marengo Academy

OF – Charlie Sturdivant, Sweet Water

OF – Kayla Marshall, Sweet Water

P – Emily Black, Sweet Water

P – Natalie Tatum, Demopolis

DP – Baily Brunson, Sweet Water

UTIL – Lara Little, Sweet Water

UTIL – Taylor Smith, Demopolis

UTIL – Mary Grace Sheffield, Marengo Academy

UTIL – Kendall Hannah, Demopolis

UTIL – Kamae Retic, Sweet Water

UTIL – Sara Irvin, Sweet Water