Clark, Denham headline All-District 22-6A softball honors


PEARLAND — Pearland head softball coach Laneigh Clark was named District 22-6A Coach of the Year after the Lady Oilers captured the 22-6A district crown and advanced to the playoffs before falling to Brazoswood in a one-game playoff in the Class 6A Region III quarterfinals.

Clark has been at the helm of the Pearland softball program since 1999 with her teams advancing three times (2009, 2010, 2011) to the state softball tournament. The Lady O's brought home the state championship in 2010 to go with their 1996 state title.

The veteran coach now has an overall coaching record of 584-388-5 which makes her one of the winningest high school softball coaches in the state of Texas. Dozens of her players have gone on to get a college education while playing at the next level.

She formerly coached at Centenary College in Louisiana and Sam Houston State University prior to coming to Pearland. She graduated from J. Frank Dobie High School in Pasadena and was an outstanding high school and collegiate player in her own right.

Junior pitcher Alyssa Denham was named the District 22-6A Most Valuable Player after posting a 21-2 mark in the pitching circle. Denham also helped her cause at the plate as she hit .261 with one double and five RBIs. She has committed to play at the University of Texas-Arlington following her senior year in 2016.

Senior catcher Sydney McKay was named to the All-District first-team after batting .506 with seven doubles, two triples, 28 RBIs, 12 runs scored and only two strikeouts all season.

She has been honored on the Texas Girls Coaches Association and the Texas Sports Writers Association All-State teams. She is committed to continue her education and playing career at the University of Lousiana-Monroe.

Junior first baseman Sydney Gutierrez was named to the All-District first-team after batting .477 with one double, three triples, seven home runs, 29 RBIs, and 25 runs scored with an .890 slugging percentage. She has committed to play at Missouri.

Sophomore second baseman Ashlynn Walls was named to the All-District team after hitting .433 with one double, one triple, four RBIs, and 17 runs scored.

Junior outfielder Lindsey Stewart was a first-team selection after she hit .474 with one triple, six RBIs, 23 runs scored, and 20 stolen bases. She is one of the most dangerous leadoff hitters in the Houston area and uses her speed on offense and defense to be a real difference maker.

Sophomore Kaylee Hoppens was also a first-team selection at an at-large position after she hit .394 with 10 doubles, two triples, one home run, 18 RBIs, and nine runs scored.

Pearland also had three players named to the All-District second-team. They were: senior shortstop Madeline Myers, junior outfielder Natalie Romeo, and freshman designated player Kaylee Buck.

Named honorable mention were: junior outfielder Madison Myers and sophomore utility Lauren Shepherd. Dawson Lady Eagles

The Dawson Lady Eagles didn't make the playoffs this season after moving up to the challenging Class 6A competition.

Head coach David McCorkle had a fairly young team and the team did well offensively, but found pitching as one of their weakest points that struggled all season.

Dawson had three players named to the first-team that included junior third baseman Rylee Rodriguez, at-large infielder sophomore Amber Langston, and senior outfielder Heaven Benavidez.

Dawson didn't have any second-team members but did have freshman catcher Isabelle Richey and junior first baseman Baylee Malone named as honorable mention.