EL Payton Baker

East Lincoln senior pitcher Payton Baker was named the South Fork 2A Conference Defensive Player of the Year after posting a 15-1 record on the mound this season. 

The South Fork 2A has announced the All-Conference softball team for the Spring 2021 season, and leading the way with 5 selections is the league champion Lady Mustangs.

East Lincoln’s Taliyah Thomas, Betsy Eatmon, Katie Hogue, Katelynn Crowe and Payton Baker were all named to the All-Conference squad, with Baker earning the Defensive Player of the Year award.

As a senior, Baker had a record on the mound of 15-1 with an ERA of 0.86. In 90 innings pitched, she allowed just 13 runs, while striking out 109 and walking only four.

Newton-Conover’s Grace Loftin was named the SF2A’s Offensive Player of the Year. The senior batted .677 with 21 hits in 31 official at bats. Loftin belted 7 home runs, while driving in 18. She also drew 18 walks at the plate, and scored 21 runs for the Lady Red Devils.

East Lincoln’s Mike Freeman was the conference’s Coach of the Year. Freeman guided the Lady Mustangs to a record of 16-2 and a trip to the 2A West Regional Final. East Lincoln was 15-1 in league play, winning the conference championship by three games over second-place Bandys.

The full South Fork 2A All-Conference team is listed below.

East Lincoln: Taliyah Thomas, Betsy Eatmon, Payton Baker, Katie Hogue, Katelynn Crowe.

North Lincoln: Tessa Hunt, Morgan McCaslin, Lilly Stump, Ashlyn White.

West Lincoln: Morgan Chapman, Emma Bumgarner.

Lincolnton: Ashley Antonio.

Maiden: Kaidyn Rogers, Kaley Kiser.

Bandys: Caroline McIntosh, Lydia Poovey, Rylee Bost, Anneliese Andrews.

Newton-Conover: Grace Loftin, Kayla Hollar, Georgia Ingle.

Lake Norman Charter: Kristy Seifert.

Defensive Player of the Year: Payton Baker - East Lincoln.

Offensive Player of the Year: Grace Loftin - Newton-Conover.

Coach of the Year: Mike Freeman - East Lincoln.

(Published May 21, 2021)

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