Recent Carroll County graduate Kyndall Hiatt will join former teammate Gracie Davidson as the only athletes in school history to play in the Virginia High School Coaches Association (VHSCA) All-Star Softball game.
Hiatt, who will continue her softball career this fall at Emory & Henry College, is one of just 18 girls to represent the West in the July 12 VHSCA All-Star Softball game in Hampton. Last year, Davidson became the first Cavalier softball player to play in the game.
A senior catcher, Hiatt made just one error in 259 chances behind the plate for a .992 fielding percentage to earn first-team All-Conference 24 honors. Also one of Carroll’s top hitters, Hiatt hit two homers and drove in 17 runs for the Cavaliers in 2017. She also batted .338, belted a team-high 10 doubles and scored a club-best 19 runs to go along with 24 hits and a .563 slugging percentage. She was third on the team with a .422 on-base percentage.
“She was going up against a lot of quality catchers for all-star recognition. The girl from Jefferson Forrest is on the all-star team who has signed at UVa. There were a couple of other really good catchers, but Kyndall’s numbers and her ability to play multiple positions (are why she was chosen),” Carroll County softball coach Rick Nester said. “All the coaches vote. They wanted to take Kyndall as the utility player more or less. She may catch and she may be in the outfield, but she will definitely be able to play. Just being on the all-star team is a big honor in itself.”
Indeed, Hiatt’s versatility as a player was on full display during her four years as a varsity starter for the Lady Cavs. As a freshman, Hiatt played third base, second base and outfield before taking over the team’s role as the starting catcher her sophomore season. As a junior, Hiatt played shortstop and catcher before returning to catcher full-time as a senior. She shared Carroll’s team award for Best Defensive Player with Alexis Meredith in 2017.
“That’s part of the reason she was selected. A lot of these coaches had seen her play at multiple positions throughout her four years in high school. This season she played the entire year at catcher and only committed two errors. There are a lot of opportunities back there to make plays, and to only make two errors says a lot for her,” Nester said. “A lot of teams did not run on her because of her strength and quickness back there. She was over 50 percent throwing runners out on steal attempts for the season. Her being able to play in all-star game says a lot for her hard work and dedication, not just for her senior year, but all four years. She really worked hard to get stronger and quicker. She is one of probably the strongest strength-wise on the team of any of the girls we had. She really worked hard in the weight room in the offseason and it was evident in everything she did.”
Only 18 players are selected each for the East and West teams. That includes players from all six of Virginia’s classifications from 1A to 6A.
“To be one of only 18 selected in all divisions from the West, that is a lot of girls you are going up against just to get on the team,” Nester said.
Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 779-4062 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN