Monday, March 4, 2024

Appalachian State-bound Keri White takes Softball Player of the Year

Multiple high school softball teams in the area proved to the eastern part of the state this season that Wilmington has some top-level talent who can compete with the best.

Led by Topsail, coming off back-to-back appearances at the 3A East Regional, the Mideastern Conference was a battle night in and night out through the spring. The Pirates successfully defended their league title from one year ago with an 11-1 mark inside the division, concluding the year at 26-5 overall.

Keri White is headed to Appalachian State this fall. Photo by Joe Catenacci
Keri White is headed to Appalachian State this fall. Photo by Joe Catenacci

Senior Keri White claimed Mideastern Conference Player of the Year honors for a second straight season, while Colleen St. Ledger was named Coach of the Year after Hoggard finished a 22-win season with a run to the third round of the 4A state playoffs.

“My high school experience went so quick,” said White. “I grew a lot over the past four years and had a bond with every player on the team during that time. Getting Player of the Year is a great thing to be named. You have to set your mind to things you want and you will achieve it.”

White, who is headed to Appalachian State University this fall to continue her athletic career and education, has been a staple at third base for Topsail since freshman year. During her four seasons at the varsity level, White helped propel the Pirates to 83 total wins. She finished her senior campaign with a .429 batting average to go along with team-highs in RBIs (31) and doubles (11).

“I’m leaving for school on June 26 to start college and very excited, but a bit nervous,” White added. “It’ll be a new lifestyle, which I plan to tackle. I’m ready for App and I hope App’s ready for me.”

Teammate Victoria Elder joined White as a First-Team All-Mideastern Conference selection. Elder was a .382 hitter, but her presence on the stripe gave Topsail a steady presence throughout the spring with 27 total appearances. The junior right-hander logged 150 innings, fashioning a 14-2 record and 1.49 ERA to go along with 172 strikeouts.

Hoggard landed a pair of players on the first-team list, including junior pitcher Morgan Mathis and second baseman Nia Green. Mathis was just as dominant as Elder in the circle. She had a 1.61 earned run average in 139.1 innings pitched, with 164 strikeouts and 15-7 mark. Green shared the team-high in homeruns (4), with 28 runs scored.

Morgan Mathis. Photo by Joe Catenacci
Morgan Mathis. Photo by Joe Catenacci

Laney shortstop Kirstie Langley was also named first-team all-conference alongside Emilee Sutton (New Hanover), Samantha Trella (South Brunswick), Haley Long (West Brunswick) and Cameron Rivenbark (Ashley).

Langley was a key contributor atop the Bucs’ lineup, while Rivenbark hit .405 as a freshman for the Screaming Eagles. She finished with 29 runs batted in, six doubles and five homeruns.


Player of the Year: Keri White, Topsail

Coach of the Year: Colleen St. Ledger, Hoggard

Team Sportsmanship Award: South Brunswick

First Team

  • Morgan Mathis, Hoggard
  • Nia Green, Hoggard
  • Kirstie Langley, Laney
  • Emilee Sutton, New Hanover
  • Samantha Trella, South Brunswick
  • Keri White, Topsail
  • Victoria Elder, Topsail
  • Haley Long, West Brunswick
  • Cameron Rivenbark, Ashley

Second Team

  • Paige Cruse, Laney
  • Hunter Bizzell, Topsail
  • Morgan Beeler, West Brunswick
  • Pearson Yopp, Ashley
  • Hayley Grizzle, Topsail
  • Kayla Miller, West Brunswick
  • Aleah Thompson, Hoggard
  • Savannah Capobianco, Laney
  • Alissa Boyette, New Hanover

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