Latta's LaValley named fastpitch All-State team

Latta senior Abi LaValley was named to the Oklahoma High School Fastpitch Coaches Association All-State Small East team. She hit .449 as Latta’s shortstop this fall.

LATTA – Abi LaValley, Latta High School senior shortstop, has been named to the Oklahoma Fastpitch High School Coaches Association All-State Small East Team as a middle infielder, it was announced earlier this week.

LaValley led Latta in several statistical categories, including batting average (.449), home runs (4) and runs scored (16). She also doubled four times. LaValley also drew eight walks, was hit by pitches twice and, amazingly, only struck out one time.

“We moved her to the leadoff from the four-hole midseason (in 2017), and she had a pretty good year offensively,” said Latta head coach Jim Foster.

LaValley was instrumental in the Lady Panthers’ run to a Class 2A state championship in 2016. She moved to Latta from Elk City prior to the 2016 campaign.

“She came in and gave us some stability on defense and a left-handed power bat,” Foster said.

Because of her bat, a couple of Lady Panther seniors were helped at the plate in 2016, because opposing pitchers couldn’t pitch around them because of her presence, according to Foster.

“Abi has been a solid player defensively and offensively. She has done a good job and everything I’ve asked of her,” said Foster.

During the 2016 season, LaValley hit more for power with three homers, four triples and 11 doubles for a .391 batting average with 29 RBIs and 30 runs scored.

She has verbally committed to play Division I softball at Missouri State and could be officially signing soon, according to Foster.

“She’ll bring them some offense and can play infield or outfield. She will bring some versatility to them,” Foster said.

Coaching the Small East squad will be Andy Powell of Dale.

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Jeff Cali has been covering sports in the Ada area since the mid-90s. He graduated from Byng High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from East Central University.