Collinsworth, Pelfrey named to all-eighth region team

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By Ryan Naus

Alesa Collinsworth and Dillon Pelfrey have led the Grant County High School softball and baseball teams on the field and were recognized by the eighth region coaches.

Collinsworth and Pelfrey were selected to the all-eighth region team.

“I was excited, but I wasn’t exactly sure what it was,” Collinsworth said. “I’m glad I made a good impression on other coaches.”

This is the inaugural year of the all-eighth region team for softball.

“It made me feel good actually, because I always wanted to stand out and make other coaches see that I might not be the best at something, but I can stand out and be a leader,” Collinsworth said. “It felt good to know that I made an impression on other coaches in the region. I think my hitting was more of a stand-out. I think it could also be the leadership aspect because I don’t keep my mouth shut.”

Collinsworth led her team by her example, but also led the team vocally, shouting words of encouragement to her teammates and keeping them loose in tight situations.

“I just started when I moved here,” Collinsworth said. “I was always told it should never be quiet on the softball field. It keeps your girls up and makes sure no one is getting down. I’m proud and happy for my coach and my team.”

Coach Ott Reed has relied on Collinsworth since she started playing in seventh grade, beginning as a pinch-runner and expanding her role on the team ever since.

“It’s a great honor, especially due to the fact it’s the inaugural team,” Reed said. “Notoriously, the eighth region players haven’t gotten recognition across the state. It makes it a high honor because the coaches from the eighth region association voted her onto the team. It’s a culmination of a great career for a great player.”

For Reed, Collinsworth was noticed for the little things she’s done on the field.

“It’s part of a game that a lot people as fans don’t recognize, but she always has her head in the game at all times,” Reed said. “The other coaches know she’s always a tough out, always competing to make sure her team was elevated to a competitive level. It’s not about being the greatest homerun hitter or the highest average hitter, but the little things that other coaches noticed. She’s always done something extra.”

For Pelfrey, it’s the second time he’s been named to the all-eighth region team.

“It’s a great accomplishment,” Pelfrey said. “I want to work hard in the off-season to make it again next year. This means that I’ve worked hard and proved I can play the game.”

Pelfrey led his team as a power hitter out of the leadoff spot, while also earning 40 percent of the team’s wins as a pitcher.

“When we played against a weaker pitcher, I hoped to spark the team and get some hits early,” Pelfrey said.

“He was a big producer for us all year,” baseball coach Justin Hollingsworth said. “He was deserving of being an all-region team member. When you look at the competition for that honor, he stacks up well against the other players that made it. It shows that other coaches recognize his talent and that he is a competitor. He knows baseball and it’s obvious.”

Along with the all-eighth region honors, Pelfrey was selected as one of 50 juniors in the state to play in the East/West game on June 20 in Lexington.

“It’s another great accomplishment,” Pelfrey said. “I can’t wait to play in it.”

Pelfrey hopes to play in the outfield to showcase his skills for the collegiate game. He has already visited Eastern Kentucky University and University of Evansville and hopes to go on more visits over the summer.

“It’s a huge honor,” Hollingsworth said. “He enjoys playing the outfield more than anything. He can cover a lot of ground and he’s got a good arm. I’m glad that he has the opportunity. We had a young core this year and having him back for another year is big. He gives out pointers, but not in a pushy way. He makes suggestions and that’s nice to have back for another year.”

(Look in next week’s Grant County News for a story on Lady Demon Amanda Goodrich, who also was named to the all-eighth region team.)