ROCKINGHAM — Four players from the Richmond Senior High School softball team were named to the 2023 All-Sandhills Athletic Conference team.
The roster was announced following Scotland High School’s fourth-round playoff loss on Friday.
Representing the Lady Raiders were seniors Quston Leviner, Makayla Parks and Macy Steen, along with junior Katie Way.
Notching her third career selection was Leviner, while Parks and Way each earned her second career nod in consecutive seasons. For Steen, it was her first All-Conference recognition.
As the third-place team in the SAC standings, Richmond had three automatic bids for the All-SAC team. The Lady Raiders also added an at-large player to the roster.
This spring, Richmond went 13-8 overall with an 8-4 record against SAC teams. Returning to the postseason for the second straight season, the Lady Raiders made it to the second round of the 4A East bracket.
Through 21 games, which saw all four All-Conference players play in, Richmond averaged 7.5 runs per game and 6.0 runs against.
Marissa Fuller (Union Pines) was named the SAC “Player of the Year,” Savanna Mullins (Lee County) earned “Pitcher of the Year” and Chandler Patterson (Lee County) was selected as “Coach of the Year.”
Quston Leviner, pitcher
Greensboro College commit
A four-year starter for the Lady Raiders, Leviner served as the leadoff hitter and the team’s ace in the circle. Leviner finished the season with 37 hits, tied with Fuller for the most in the SAC, and batted .500 (sixth in SAC).
Swatting 13 extra-base hits, including eight doubles, a triple and four homers, Leviner was tied for the second most longballs in the SAC with Parks. She scored 31 runs from the leadoff spot (tied fifth with Way in SAC) and registered 16 RBI.
Leviner was also among the SAC’s best with a .797 slugging percentage (fifth) and .532 on-base percentage (eighth).
Completing her fourth season in the circle for the Lady Raiders, Leviner led the SAC in the following categories: wins (11), strikeouts (139) and innings pitched (128.2). The Greensboro College commit had a 4.57 earned run average this spring.
“It feels really good to get my third All-Conference selection,” Leviner said. “This whole time playing, I never thought about that. I just did what I knew I had to do to help the team and it worked out.
“In years past, I was usually in a position to score runs and this year my focus was to get on base to let the girls behind me bring me in. The biggest thing I’ll take from my time at Richmond is to not take anything for granted because it goes by so fast. I made some of my best friends here and really enjoyed it.”
Makayla Parks, first base
Pfeiffer University commit
Making the All-SAC team for the second time in as many seasons since joining Richmond as a junior, Parks proved to be an offensive and defensive asset this spring. Known for her power, Parks was tied for second in the SAC with four home runs.
She also ranked in the top 15 in the conference with a .594 slugging percentage, while also batting .328 with 21 hits. Knocking eight extra-base hits this season, Parks added three doubles and a triple to her four homers.
Helping with run production, Parks drove in 19 RBI, which was fourth highest on the team. She also scored 18 runs and had an on-base percentage of .442.
“Getting my second All-Conference selection shows that I have commitment to hard work, dedication and leadership,” Parks said. “This was a fun season, especially when we were doing really well early. Toward the end we got fired back up again for the playoffs.
“The biggest learning moment for me this year was to always be prepared no matter who we were facing. I’ve really enjoyed building my relationships with the girls and the coaches the last two years.”
Macy Steen, catcher
ECU nursing major
Also a four-year starter for the Lady Raiders, Steen’s hard work paid off this spring with her first career All-SAC nod. Serving as Leviner’s battery mate, Steen helped direct traffic behind the plate.
Connecting for 26 hits, putting her third on the team and in the top 10 in the conference, Steen was one of three Lady Raiders to hit above .400 this year. She finished the season with a .406 average, ranked 14th in the SAC.
Steen was the eighth most productive hitter in the conference with 23 RBI, while connecting on a slugging percentage of .547. She had an on-base percentage of .473 and scored 10 runs. Seven of her hits went for extra bases, including six doubles and one homer.
Behind the plate, Steen caught 129.2 of Richmond’s 133.1 innings played this season. She caught six base runners stealing for a .162 caught stealing percentage.
“I’m really excited because it’s been a goal of mine to get All-Conference my entire career,” Steen shared. “I really put in the work this year and proved that I could get to where I am with my stats and bringing runs across the plate.
“I think I’ve been a good asset to the team as the catcher. I’m very loud, I know where to put the ball and have worked really hard on my defensive skills. My advice to the girls coming back is to not doubt themselves or stress too much. Just have fun.”
Katie Way, shortstop
The lone underclassman to make the All-SAC team for Richmond this year, Way made big adjustments in the field and at the plate in 2023. Moving to shortstop, her third position in three varsity seasons, she also moved to the two hole in the lineup.
Finishing the season in the top five in the SAC with 28 hits, Way belted five home runs that tied her for the conference lead. Also hitting five dingers were teammate Ryelan Lyerly and Macie Lucas (Southern Lee).
Way also cracked the top five in several other categories across the conference: 28 RBI (fourth), .828 slugging percentage (fourth), 31 runs (tied fifth with Leviner) and an on-base percentage of .615 (fifth).
Second on the team with a .483 batting average, that was the seventh best average in the SAC. Way had 10 extra-base hits with five homers and five doubles.
“Being named All-Conference is great and it feels good, especially because I have another year to play,” Way said. “I feel that I’m an asset to the team and I have another season to prove myself.
“This season was different in a lot of ways. Hitting second, I knew Quston could get on base and I could move her around, and Mak and Macy could hit us in. I’m looking forward to making new memories next year.”
Note: All statistics in this article were used from MaxPreps.com.