Centennial's Friend, Morton earn second-team all-state accolades
The honors keep rolling in for two of the major cogs in the longest playoff run in the history of Centennial softball as junior Sydney Friend and sophomore Gracie Morton nabbed second-team honors Sunday on the Texas Sports Writers Association’s Class 5A All-State team.
Friend, a second baseman who was the District 8-5A Player of the Year, hit .583 with a .603 on-base percentage and a .675 slugging percentage. She had nine doubles, a triple, 27 RBI, scored 43 runs and stole 10 bases.
“She is the complete package,” Centennial coach Shannon Sullivan said of Friend after earning 8-5A Player of the Year honors. “She brought some much to the plate, she could lay down a bunt for a hit, she could slap for a hit, she could poke one in the gap for a double or turn a double into a triple because she was so fast.”
But Friend’s abilities didn’t stop there.
Once she was on the bases, she was a threat to steal and cause trouble on the base paths. Then playing second base she had the ability to steal hits and could cover a lot of ground.
“She was a great leader on and off the field,” Sullivan said. “She came to win every day.”
Morton, who took over in center field this season, was 8-5A Offensive Player of year Year.
The sophomore delivered a team-high .607 batting average to go along with a .654 on-base percentage and a 1.053 slugging percentage. Morton finished with 17 doubles, 15 triples, one home run, 53 runs scored, 42 RBI and 20 steals.
“Offensively Gracie is just a huge threat,” Sullivan told the Burleson Star earlier this year. “She can turn a single into a double or a double into a triple but she also brings the element of power to the plate. She can hit a ball off the wall or over the fence. Defensively it’s hard to setup for a hitter like that. She was successful no matter the type of pitcher she faced.”
In district play, the Lady Spartans went 14-0 and finished the season with at 29-5 record. Regional finalist Canyon swept Centennial in the regional semifinals. To get to that spot, the Lady Spartans downed Fort Worth Western Hills and Lake Dallas in one-game playoffs then swept arch-rival Burleson in the regional quarterfinals.