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Panthers softball duo named all-state

Taiah Wilson delivers a pitch on the way to a win for the Panthers in this file photo.
Wilson, Hickman land top honors

After one of the best seasons in program history, Montezuma-Cortez softball continues to make their mark on the highest stage.

With a league title and state quarterfinal appearance, senior Taiah Wilson and junior Rylee Hickman have earned recognition of the 3A all-state team.

M-CHS wrapped up a 19-7 campaign, among the winningest in school history, which included a 3A Western Slope League title. Looking for an elusive state tournament victory, the Panthers outlasted La Junta 18-17 to make a trip to the round of eight, where they were edged by Sterling 6-5 to end their run.

An anchor of the prolific Panthers offense, Wilson earned a spot of the 3A All-State second team after a year in which the senior pitcher and third baseman posted a .460 batting average. Wilson paced the Panthers with 40 hits, 34 RBIs and 17 extra-base hits.

On the mound, Wilson enjoyed a solid season, posting a 6-1 record with a 5.03 ERA and striking out 72 opponents in 72.1 innings of work.

Panthers junior Rylee Hickman fires to first base in this file photo. (Ben Bradley/Special to The Journal)

Junior Rylee Hickman ’s steady glove accompanied her sterling bat. To go along with 42 assists and four double plays, Hickman helped pace the Panthers offense with a .506 on-base percentage and 34 runs scored, both team bests.

Hickman’s prowess earned her an honorable mention on the all-state squad.

Head coach Anthony “Hippo” Frost guided the Panthers to one of its winningest in school history during his second winning season at the helm.

All-state selections are made based on a coaches vote. Nominees are selected based on their status as first-team all-league performers.