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Smith honored as Tri-Valley Player of Year

Abendschein named Pitcher of The Year

by: Photo by Joe McHaney/The Pioneer - Madras senior catcher JoElla Smith was recently named the Class 4A Tri-Valley Conference Player of the Year. She helped MHS win a conference title.

JoElla Smith has been said to be one of the best female athletes ever to come through Madras High School by current coaches and spectators.
   The senior received more recognition last week, as she was named the Tri-Valley Conference Player of The Year in softball.
   "Dynamic," Madras head softball coach Shawna McConnell said when asked to describe Smith, who was also slated the TVC first-team catcher. "She is one of those kids that leads by example."
   Smith led off and played catcher for the White Buffalos. The team captain hit .463 in TVC play that included 25 hits. She also stole 18 bases.
   "Jo was an extension of our coaching staff," McConnell said of Smith, who will be playing softball at Northwest Christian University next year. "It was like having a coach behind the plate. She is just an all around great kid and a tremendous athlete."
   Teammate Maycee Abendschein was named the TVC Pitcher of The Year. She and Smith were unanimous selections and helped Madras win the TVC regular-season title with a 14-1 record.
   "Maycee really matured from last year as a pitcher," McConnell said. "She worked very hard in the off season and is a true competitor."
   Abendschein struggled last year with nagging injuries and a delivery flaw, but she regrouped to dominate TVC opponents. She posted a 1.10 earned run average in TVC play, booked 61 strikeouts and walked only eight.
   "She really turned things around and was fantastic," McConnell said of Abendschein.
   McConnell was recognized as the TVC Coach of The Year.
   "The players made me look good," McConnell said. "The award was an award for our entire coaching staff. We are a team, a unit, and all the coaches and players made Coach of The Year possible."
   Madras sophomore Jamie Moe and Abendschein were named first-team pitchers, and both were named second-team infielders.
   "Our players were heavily praised in our all-league coaches meeting," McConnell said. "Coaches around the league said our players were a class act."
   Abendschein had 26 hits in 15 TVC games, four of which were round trippers.
   Madras second baseman Lauren Short and third baseman Alex Holcomb were named first-team infielders.
   "Lauren was absolutely solid defensively," McConnell said of Short, who batted. .565 in TVC action.
   Holcomb was feared with her bat. She led the team with seven home runs this season amd tied Abendschein with 30 RBIs.
   "Alex is a power hitter and really stepped up this season," McConnell said.
   Madras outfielders Mallory Smith and Natalie Martin were named to the first team.
   Sarah Brown was recognized as a second-team infielder and Caitlin Hulsey was named a second-team utility player for Madras.