Auburn slugger named to 1A all-state team

McKenzie Lawrence helped lead her Auburn softball team to the state playoffs this past season, and was honored as member of the all-state 1A first team.

Auburn sophomore outfielder McKenzie Lawrence has been named to the 1A all-state softball first team.

“It means a lot to me and I’m truly blessed to be a part of a great program and to be recognized for the hard work that I have put into this sport,” Lawrence said.

Her coach, David Hurd, described her as a tremendously talented athlete.

“She came to us as an infielder, but we moved her to outfield her freshman year and it was the perfect fit. Her speed and arm strength are off the charts and she gets great reads on balls to either her left or her right. Her tools to play the game are as good as anyone’s,” he said.

Lawrence had a freshman year that most players would be satisfied with, averaging .328 at the plate with three doubles, four homers, six stolen bases and 16 Runs Batted In (RBI). This year as a sophomore, she batted .400 with 16 RBIs, three homeruns, 11 doubles, two triples and 13 stolen bases.

In just two years of varsity play, she has scored 53 runs and has produced an on base percentage of .435, playing outfield, shortstop and third base.

In addition to Auburn, Lawrence also plays for a nationally ranked travel softball team from North Carolina where almost everyone on the senior squad has received scholarship offers from Division I colleges.

She started playing fastpitch softball at the age of seven, and since then, Lawrence has put in a lot of work including with the travel team.

“It has helped tremendously physically and mentally and has helped me to slow the game down and have a better softball IQ,” she said.

Her ultimate goal is to win a state title, and believes the Auburn program is very good and there is no reason that can include multi-state titles.

She also hopes to play college softball for a team that is competitive and expects to win every time they step on the field.

Patrick Henry-Glade Spring senior pitcher Madison Booth was selected as 1A Player of the Year, while Mathew’s head coach Robert Thomas was selected 1A Coach of the Year. Thomas led Mathews to the 1A state title with a 4-1 win over Holston in the finals.

 Fourteen individuals each were selected to the first-team all-state squad and second-team all-state squad that include — three pitchers, one catcher, four infielders, one flex, four outfielders and one utility player. Only those players selected to the first-team all-region teams were eligible for selection to the All-State team.

Each All-State selection committee is composed of eight softball coaches (four from each Region), and two athletic directors/directors of student activities (one from each Region).