The North Central Missouri Conference announced its softball all conference players on Tuesday and the Lady Pirates had two players that were named to the team. Seniors Gabby York and Kara Lockwood were among the 20 NCMC players to receive the honor.
"Gabby York has had an outstanding season," Hannibal coach Brock Sousa said. "She has been a leader the entire time. She has done her job whether she was up in the lineup at three or moved back in the lineup at six. She has understood what her role was every time she was in a different situation. As a catcher she calls her own game and takes ownership of the infield and outfield for the communication all the way areound. Just having her back there is just completely solid and she blocks like a wall where she doesn't allow very many passed balls and she has even snagged some wild pitches too."
One season ago, York was Hannibal's only representative. York is also one of just six players who made the team last year to be back on the all conference team again this season.
"She was our only one selected last year," Sousa said. "She got selected in the third spot and overall was the only catcher in the conference, so it is pretty awesome. Going into the coaches' meeting, all the coaches knew who she was and when I said her name, number, and position, they knew exactly who she was."
York hit .471 during the season with three doubles and five triples while knocking in eight runs. York also stole 18 bases for the Lady Pirates. Defensively, York made just five errors all season long on 22 attempts. She also had 12 putouts for Hannibal. When it came to conference play, York was just as good. Against NCMC opponents, York batted .442 with a pair of doubles and triples. She also plated five runs, scored 10 runs, and swiped four bags for the Lady Pirates. Behind the plate, York committed just two errors in 17 chances while making eight putouts.
"It's really good and a good way to finish the year," York said. "It's a big honor and it is going to be something to look back on."
Lockwood was named to the all conference team for the first time. After missing her sophomore season to a right shoulder injury and battling her way back through it during her junior season, she came back and showed she could still play during her final year.
Lockwood, an outfielder, had Hannibal's third highest batting average at .413 during the season. Lockwood recorded three doubles and two triples while driving in 5 runs for the Lady Pirates over the course of the season. As good as she was during the season, Lockwood was even better during conference play. She hit .462 in conference play with two doubles and two triples. Lockwood knocked in four runs and scored nine runs against NCMC opponents.
"It was actually a big surprise to me," Lockwood said. "I didn't actually think I was going to get it. It was a big shocker for sure."
Sousa was pleased to see Lockwood's hard work rewarded.
"Seeing Kara get this is wonderful," Sousa said. "When I first came (to Hannibal) three years ago she had a shoulder surgery and last year was her first season back with me underneath my coaching and kind of watching her. Watching her develop as a player and improve with all the work she put in in the offseason ... She had the number three highest batting average (for Hannibal) this season and the second highest in conference (NCMC wide)."