Opponents all had the same reaction after they see Memorial's Erikka Murphy play this season.
"They couldn't believe her," Memorial coach Wayne Stewart said. "They can't believe the things she does on the field."
Whether it was in the batter's box, on the basepaths, or in the outfield, Murphy's play during the 2007 softball season would be unbelievable if she didn't have the numbers to back her up. Murphy, who converted from a power hitter to a leadoff slap hitter this season, batted .591. She stole a whopping 74 bases (almost two per game) and scored 37 runs. The District 27-5A MVP also was a standout center fielder who often utilized her range to rob opponents of extra-base hits in the gaps.
For her success, Murphy was named the Player of the Year on the 2007 Advocate All-Area Team.
"I did better than I expected," said Murphy, who was on her way to Colorado on Saturday to play in a select team tournament. "I worked harder than ever before this year. I think I stepped up this year."
Murphy has spoken with several Division I schools and said she hopes to sign on with one in November during the early signing period.
Shiner sophomore Heather Haas was named the Pitcher of the Year and Woodsboro freshman pitcher Megan Carter was chosen the Newcomer of the Year. Industrial senior third baseman Haleigh Bielstein was selected the Offensive Player of the Year and Memorial senior third baseman Nicki Graves was named the Defensive Player of the Year.
Hallettsville Sacred Heart's Pat Henke received the Coach of the Year honor.
Haas was named the Pitcher of the Year for the second straight season. She led Shiner to the Class 1A final by compiling a 20-6 record and 1.16 ERA. She struck out 254 and walked only 32 in 169 innings. The District 28-1A MVP tossed a one-hit shutout over McLeod in the state semifinals and also led the Lady Comanches at the plate by batting .400 with 28 RBIs and 35 runs scored.
Bielstein, who will play college softball at Bowling Green next season, played third base, shortstop and second base while batting .434 with an area- leading six home runs. She also drove in 20 runs while scoring 21.
Graves was the anchor of a solid Memorial defense. She committed only seven errors on the year and had no throwing errors the entire season for a .950 fielding percentage. Along with being a defensive standout, Graves batted .455 with 32 runs scored and 25 stolen bases.
Carter led a Woodsboro in its inaugural season by compiling a 17-8 record and 2.67 ERA. Carter, a freshman, struck out 198 batters in 137 innings and also hits .542 with 18 RBIs en route to being named the District 31-1A MVP.
Henke guided a Sacred Heart team that had only two seniors to the TAPPS Class 3A state title in convincing fashion. The Indianettes rolled past their two state tournament opponents by a combined score of 29-1 and finished the season with a 22-7 record.
Pitchers earning first-team honors were Weimar's Kailey Kubesch, East Bernard's Courtney Repka, and Yoakum's Megan Carmichael. Also chosen to the first team were Woodsboro first baseman Amanda Emfinger, Memorial second baseman Valerie Garcia, St. Joseph shortstop Chelsea Wenske, Weimar third baseman Kelli Berger, Memorial catcher Amanda Caldwell, Hallettsville Sacred Heart outfielder Sara Steinocher, St. Joseph outfielder Brittany Eichhorn, Hallettsville outfielder Kori Kocian, Hallettsville Sacred Heart utility player Michele Sevcik, and Memorial designated player Sarina Arguello.
Kubesch capped off an impressive career with a 24-5 mark and 0.41 ERA. She fanned 229 batters and issued only eight walks in leading the Ladycats to Class 2A regional finals. Kubesch also batted .309 with 25 RBIs.
Repka, a sophomore, led the Advocate area with 350 strikeouts and a 0.28 ERA. She was 23-8 with two perfect games and five no-hitters. Repka also hit .476 with 30 RBIs.
Carmichael, a sophomore, compiled a 26-5 record and 1.33 ERA. She struck out 204 batters in 202 innings and only walked 40. The District 29-3A MVP also batted .337 with 19 RBIs and 19 runs scored.
Emfinger made the most of her only varsity season at Woodsboro by batting .536 with 22 RBIs and 23 runs scored. She also had a .961 fielding percentage and was named the District 31-1A Offensive MVP.
Garcia, a sophomore, batted .293 with 21 RBIs and was a first-team All- District 27-5A selection.
Wenske, a senior, batted .427 with 32 RBIs and Berger, also a senior, batted .374 with 25 RBIs.
Caldwell, who signed with Arkansas before her senior season, batted .337 with 22 RBIs. She had 13 doubles and one home run.
Steinocher was one of two seniors on Sacred Heart's TAPPS Class 3A state championship team and batted .410 and struck out only four times in 85 at- bats.
Eichhorn, a senior, batted .322 with 21 runs scored.
Kocian, a senior, was the catalyst for Hallettsville's offense as she scored 40 runs. She also batted .404 and stole 13 bases.
Sevcik, Sacred Heart's only other senior besides Steinocher, batted .435 while also compiling a 10-2 record and 1.33 ERA on the mound.
Arguello .348 on the year with 27 RBIs and was named to the All-District 27-5A first team.
2007 ALL-AREA SOFTBALL TEAMFirst Team P: Kailey Kubesch, sr., Weimar; Courtney Repka, soph., East Bernard; Megan Carmichael, soph., Yoakum 1B: Amanda Emfinger, sr., Woodsboro 2B: Valerie Garcia, soph., Memorial SS: Chelsea Wenske, sr., St. Joseph 3B: Kelli Berger, sr., Weimar C: Amanda Caldwell, sr., Memorial OF: Sara Steinocher, sr., Hallettsville Sacred Heart OF: Brittany Eichhorn, sr., St. Joseph OF: Kori Kocian, sr., Hallettsville UT: Michele Sevcik, sr., Hallettsville Sacred Heart DP: Sarina Arguello, jr., Memorial Second Team P: Bethany Wentzell, sr., Memorial; Marina Vasquez, soph., St. Joseph; Jade Stock, Yorktown 1B: Karoline Kremers, sr., Beeville 2B: Kim Freytag, sr., Hallettsville SS: Miranda Soto, sr., Weimar 3B: Lacie Jochetz, soph., Woodsboro C: Maci Schaefer, sr., Shiner OF: Ashley Hagen, sr., Yoakum OF: Kaci Kuecker, sr., Cuero OF: Ieisha Flowers, soph., Shiner UT: Dacey Doehrman, sr., Cuero DP: Haley Leopold, soph., Hallettsville Honorable Mention Memorial: Kelsey Dick, Jasmine Littles, Michelle Hernandez. Bay City: Allison Hinton. El Campo: Olivia Wall, Anna Raun, Brittney Oates, Suzanne Buzek, Danielle Smith. Beeville: Mari Garza, Melanie Gonzalez, Daniella Garcia, Audrey Dominguez. Calhoun: Porsche Ramos. Wharton: Jael Ramirez, Melanie Carlson, Elizabeth Reyes, Christie Viktorin. Cuero: Desi Poth. Goliad: Jaymie Heibel, Jessica Heibel, Juliana Castro. Gonzales: Karleigh Janota, Nina Valenta, Brittany Avant. Palacios: Kristen Garcia, Alaina Pena, Brittany Martino. Yoakum: Sarah Carmichael, Lauren Adamek, Brittany Jamelka. Boling: Mackenzie Baker, Whitney Rachunek, Kelsey Stolle. East Bernard: Katie Dawson, Nicole Tielke, Samantha Wasek, Haley Dawson. Van Vleck: Lesli Huerta, Amy Griffin. Edna: Lauree Pearson. Ganado: Lauryn Petrash. Hallettsville: Timishia North, Ky Schindler, Lee Ann Steffek, Kim Freytag, Callie Herrington, Brandi Pustka. Rice Consolidated: Kim Varley. Schulenburg: Jessica Schneider, Ali Trojacek, Anissa Vornsand. Weimar: Tracey Rosenauer, Miranda Soto, Lindsay Hadash. Karnes City: Kourtney Cowan. Kenedy: Melanie Martinez, Vanessa Benitez. Nixon-Smiley: Bianca DeLeon. Yorktown: Katy Rodoriguez, Danielle Serrano, Brittany Campos, Carey Brysch, Casey Brysch, Kymber Blaschke. Bloomington: Kesha Jackson. Refugio: Alyssa McMahan, Sarah Romero, Staci Castellano. Shiner: Taylor Hajek, Alyssa Strauss, Paige Michalec. Pettus: Kelly Bridge. Runge: Lynette Ramirez, Sam Garza, Ninfa Rios, Heather Reyna. Woodsboro: Chelsea Bluemel, Kaitlin McCool, Lauren Rooke, Sarah Deases. St. Joseph: Lauren Vansickle, Lacey Welfel, Jennifer Mason, Deena Smith. Hallettsville Sacred Heart: Emily Gallia, Heather Saulnier, Casey Leopold, Stephanie Tobola, Kendra Krupala, Sara Michalcik. Faith Academy: Hannah Davis, Brie Bouldin, Sarah Slavik. Shiner St. Paul: Calli Schacherl, Brooke Broussard, Jamie Pilat.