By Blake Ells
The past and the future of Spain Park softball unite as one in 2019 as departing senior Maddie Majors and sophomore Annabelle Widra share Player of the Year honors from the Over the Mountain Journal, which are determined by vote of Over the Mountain coaches.
The Jaguars season was cut short when the team fell to eventual 7A state champion Hewitt-Trussville. Both of those teams had been working to play themselves out of the losers’ bracket. Majors and Widra shone bright along the way, winning the West Central Regional.
Majors batted .483 on the season, hitting 10 homeruns and 69 RBIs. Widra hit .497 with six homeruns and 43 RBIs. The duo scored more than 100 of the runs that the Jaguars collected in 2019.
“It’s an honor and a joy to coach these two young ladies,” said coach C.J. Hawkins. “Maddie and Annabelle both bring an excitement and an elite level of play to our team. Having these two young ladies receive Co-Player of the Year is an amazing honor for them and for our program. They both have earned the respect from their own opponents and from their team.”
While Majors graduated in 2019, she spent years playing alongside Widra. The latter began her high school softball career when she was just a seventh grader. The duo also plays with the same travel ball organization, which has helped strengthen their relationship throughout the year.
“Me and Annabelle are really close and we’ve been playing for four years together,” Majors said. “To share that moment means a lot.”
Majors will play at Auburn next season. She’s excited about the class that the Tigers will bring in with her next season — eight new faces, all over the field.
“I can’t wait to watch Maddie play at Auburn,” Hawkins said. “She will truly be missed and (leave) a huge hole to fill in our lineup: centerfield and as a leader.”
Widra hopes to fill one of those holes. She’s striving to take more ownership of leading the Jaguars to a championship.
“We are a good group and have good chemistry,” Widra said. “Am I sad that (Majors) is leaving me? Yes. But I feel that I will be able to step up and be that leader that my team needs me to be. For me, it’s all about the team and I will do whatever it takes for my team.”
While she won’t be filling that centerfield hole, Widra wears a lot of hats in the field; she pitches and she’s an infielder. Hawkins is confident that in a couple of years, Widra will find her own way onto a college roster.
“The sky is the limit for Annabelle’s college choice with her versatility, speed and strength,” Hawkins said. “We are thrilled to have her in our arsenal to go back into the hunt again next year.”