FAYETTEVILLE — Bladen County scored a pair of players on the annual All-Cape Fear Region Softball team. (article courtesy of The Fayetteville Observer) Lexi Dawson, a graduated senior at East Bladen High, was selected as a second-team catcher and Morgan Sweeney, a graduated senior from West Bladen High, was selected as a second-team shortstop.
Dawson was the No. 3 hitter in coach Patty Evers’ lineup and hit .551 her senior season. She had a .750 slugging percentage, a .634 on-base percentage and scored 21 runs.
“Lexi had an outstanding career at East Bladen,” Evers said. “She was very dedicated to becoming a better player with a goal of playing in college. “She achieved that goal, but still works everyday to be better — she is still playing every weekend,” she added. “Lexi was the total student-athlete and was very disciplined in practice, which is the foundation needed to be good at any sport.”
Dawson, who helped lead the Lady Eagles to a 14-6 record, has signed to play college softball at St. Andrews University in Laurinburg.
For Sweeney, the selection to the team as a shortstop is a bit of a misnomer, since she played a majority of the latter games this past season at third base for the Lady Knights — a move to take advantage of her quickness on bunts. She also came to the circle to pitch on rare occasions.
“Morgan did a really good job for us in the lead off position,” said West Bladen coach Pam Stephens. “And she was very versatile defensively.”
Sweeney batted .500 for West Bladen, with eight doubles, three triples, two home runs, 21 RBI and 39 runs scored. She was also 13-for-13 in stolen bases and, in the circle, she twirled 10.1 innings with a 1.97 ERA and was 1-0.
Sweeney, who helped lead the Lady Knights to a 12-9 record, has signed to play collegiate softball at Newberry College in Newberry, S.C.
The only other players tabbed by The Fayetteville Observer came out of Whiteville, where two Lady Wolfpack players were selected to the first team.
Rising senior Malerie Leviner was chosen as a pitcher and rising junior Sage McLelland was selected as a first baseman.
Leviner was the Three Rivers Conference Player of the Year and was 11-3 in the circle with a 1.01 ERA and 126 strikeouts. McLelland hit .549 with 11 doubles, five home runs and 35 RBI.