Lady Irish Softball Team celebrates success at end-of-year banquet

The St. Patrick Catholic High School Fast Pitch Softball Team celebrated a memorable season on Wednesday, May 16.

SPCHS Fast Pitch Softball Coach Kelli Mullen said, “These girls had a very strong bond. They were passionate about fast pitch, and they have worked very hard and have improved so much from the first day of practice. The girls are such a great group that support and push each other each day. I am very proud of them!”

“Our girls really embraced the team concept. If one person wasn’t doing as well as they would like, then the next person picked up the slack. This was evident during the year as we had multiple players get hot and cool off, then someone else would start swinging a hot bat. The team just really picked each other up and had each other’s back. My favorite part of the game is working with the girls on something they need to improve on and then watching them execute it in the game correctly,” said Coach Tommy Castanedo.

On the incredible season, Castanedo continued, “The only goal each year for our softball team is winning a State Championship. We first communicate it and get buy in, then just try to break it down into small pieces and work on accomplishing the smaller goals leading up to the playoffs. I didn’t anticipate our team winning a championship, rather we wanted to work on those things we needed to improve on that would allow the team to properly execute our game plan when we needed to. The season and playoffs are a grind, and you have to stick to the plan. The girls stuck to plan, worked hard, and executed when they needed to.”

The senior players on the team (Raven Blackwell, Raylen Blackwell, Anna D’Aquilla and Kirstin Walters) have made five South State appearances, have achieved three South State Championships and have conquered three State Championships. Stats for each of the seniors can be found below!

JV Awards

  • JV Most Improved – Lauren Croal and Taylor Stawarski
  • JV  Tough as Nails Award – Ali Ware
  • JV Offensive Player of the Year – Madison Normand

Varsity Awards

  • All District – Raylen Blackwell, Raven Blackwell, Anna Grace Castanedo, Chandler Wheeler, Kirstin Walters, Sarah D’Aquilla
  • All District MVP – Anna D’Aquilla

.400 Hitting Club

  • Raven Blackwell

.300 Hitting Club

  • Anna Grace Castanedo
  • Chandler Wheeler
  • Raylen Blackwell
  • Kirstin Walters

MS Gulf Coast Senior and Futures All Stars

  • Anna D’Aquilla
  • Raven Blackwell
  • Raylen Blackwell
  • Sarah D’Aquilla

MHSAA 2A All State Team members

  • Anna D’Aquilla
  • Anna Grace Castanedo
  • Raylen Blackwell
  • Raven Blackwell

Individual Awards

  • Varsity Role Player of the Year – Madison Normand
  • Varsity Most Improved Player – Caroline Dellenger
  • Varsity New Comer of the Year – Ijiah Henderson
  • Varsity Tough as Nails Award – Raylen Blackwell
  • Varsity Blue Collar Player of the Year Award – Kirstin Walters
  • Varsity Defensive Player of the Year – Raven Blackwell
  • Varsity Offensive Player of the Year – Anna Grace Castanedo
  • Varsity Player of the Year – Anna D’Aquilla
  • Lady Irish “Heart of Champion” Team Leader Award – Raven Blackwell
  • Lady Irish “Heart of a Champion” Teammate Award – Kirstin Walters and Raylen Blackwell

Check out photos from the banquet below!