It took 11 innings for a District 4-5A team to beat Richland pitcher Haley Freyman this season.
That loss to Justin Northwest was the only blemish in a dominating district performance as Freyman led the Rebels to the district title.
For her 21-4 record with 140 strikeouts, a 1.11 ERA and .406 batting average, Freyman is Player of the Year on the Star-Telegram 2014 Softball Super Team.
“In all honesty, considering the number of great players in the area, I didn’t expect anything like this,” said Freyman, whose selection was based on regular-season statistics only. “I’m one of those players that really appreciates what my teammates do behind me. They bailed me out several times this season.”
Freyman also held opponents to a .218 batting average, and she was especially effective in posting a 13-1 district record. The Rebels won their 3-5A games by an average of 5.2 runs.
Still, Richland coach Brenda Jacobson saw a difference in Freyman after the loss to Northwest.
“She was upset, no doubt about it,” Jacobson said. “But Haley has this way of getting her point across in a nice way. We just didn’t pick her up on defense and at the plate that night.”
Adds Freyman: “We had some great teams in our district. We never took a night off and you couldn’t. It seemed like every game was decided by just a couple of plays.”
Freyman went on to five postseason wins before the Rebels lost in the regional semifinals to Mansfield Timberview. She has signed with Tarleton State.
“There were several times this season when I really saw the kind of player that Haley is,” Jacobson said. “In Game 3 against Midland, we put a hitter on with a walk because the next batter up had struck out twice already.
“That batter proceeded to clean up the bases with a grand slam and Haley’s mood never changed. It was a gamble and it didn’t work out for us, but she settled in, threw three strikes and we got out of the inning and went on to win the game.”