After a one-year hiatus, the 2021 local high school softball season was filled with some great play and an abundance of talented players. A total of 10 players were selected to the 2021 Commonwealth Journal All-County Softball team, and two Players of the Year were awarded.
Pulaski County High School senior Riley Hull and Southwestern High School senior Kaitlyn Gwin stood out above the rest of the local softball players and were honored with Co-Player of the Year awards.
Pulaski County High School senior Riley Hull had another sensational year with a county best .615 batting average. Hull drove in 50 runs, scored 53 runs and hit eight home runs. Hull hit 23 doubles and had three triples. Hull made her third straight CJ All-County Team and has been named Player of the Year for the past two teams.
Hull was named to the Kentucky Softball All-State Team for the third straight season. This past season, Hull was named first team All-State by the Kentucky Softball Coaches Association.
Southwestern High School senior Kaitlyn Gwin was one of the top performers in the county at the plate and in the pitcher's circle. At the plate, Gwin had a .552 batting average, had a county best 59 runs batted in, and hit eight homers. Gwin scored 32 runs, hit 19 doubles, and one triple.
On the mound, Gwin pitched 143 innings, with 176 strikeouts and maintained an 2.55 ERA. Gwin had 18 pitching wins on the season and led the Lady Warriors to their first 12th Region championship game in nearly 20 years. Gwin was named the 12th Region Player of the Year by the Softball Coaches Association. Gwin has been named to three straight CJ All-County Teams, and was named third team All-State this past season.
Somerset High School sophomore Carly Cain made her third straight CJ All-County Team, after being named to her first team in 2018 as a seventh-grader. Cain led the Lady Jumpers with a .437 batting average and drove in 44 runs. Cain hit 21 doubles and hit four homers. On the mound, Cain pitched 145 innings, struck out 118 batters and had a 2.46 ERA.
Pulaski County senior Molli Nelson made her second straight CJ All-County Team. Nelson had a .518 batting average, drove in 24 runs and scored 41 runs. Nelson hit four doubles, two triples, and a home run.
Southwestern junior Jesse Begley made her first CJ All-County Team with a .434 batting average. Begley drove in 45 runs, scored 43 runs, had 10 doubles and four homers. Also, Begley pitched 51 innings and recorded 49 strikeouts.
Pulaski County seventh-grader Chloe Carroll finished her first varsity season with a .436 batting average and 37 RBIs. Carroll scored 28 runs, hit 12 doubles, a triple and one homer.
Southwestern junior Ashtyn Hines had a .384 batting average and led the Lady Warriors with 46 runs scored. Hines drove in 21 runs, had three doubles, a triple, and two home runs.
Somerset freshman Molly Lucas had a .424 batting average and led the Lady Jumpers with six home runs. Lucas drove in 31 runs, scored 28 runs, hit 13 doubles.
Pulaski County senior Dawn Wilson had a .490 batting average and scored 38 runs. Wilson drove in 23 runs, had two doubles and two triples.
Southwestern senior Alexa Smiddy had not played varsity softball in nearly five years, but still had an exceptional season. Smiddy had a .411 batting average and scored 39 runs. Smiddy drove in 26 runs, had eight doubles, two triples, and two homers.
Somerset junior Jasmine Peavey had a .383 batting average and hit four home runs. Peavey drove in 36 runs, scored 31 runs, and had nine doubles.
Pulaski County senior Kaylee Strunk made her second straight CJ All-County Team. Strunk had a .310 batting average, hit four homers and drove in 19 runs. Strunk had a county-best 25 pitching wins and struck out 166 batters.
Named as Commonwealth Journal All-County Honorable Mention was Southwestern's Olivia Wilds, Somerset's Emma Hawk, Somerset's Kaley Harris, Pulaski County's Bella Ellis, Somerset Christian's Aliyah Edens, and Somerset Christian's Lydia Fisher.