Three El Campo Ladybird softball players were named to the Texas Sports Writers Association All-State team announced Saturday.
With 16 home runs, sophomore Ladybird shortstop Kate Bubela was named to the first team. Bubela had the most home runs in the 4A classification and 13th most in Texas.
“It’s awesome, I didn’t think I was going to get it. It caught me by surprise,” Bubela said. “I never excepted an (honor) that big to come.”
In addition to Bubela, seniors Madisyn Matlock, a centerfielder and Mackenzie Matlock, pitcher/shortstop, received honorable mentions.
Bubela this offseason has been playing in select tournaments across the county. This past weekend she was playing in the same place as East Bernard’s Lexie Warncke, who earned second-team honors as a pitcher. The pair found out together about the all-state recognition.
“I said, ‘Lexie look at this,’ it was cool seeing it together. It was special, ‘I was like is this right, (are) these our names?,’” Bubela said.
As a freshman with COVID-19 concerns causing the UIL to cancel Spring sports throughout the state, Bubela didn’t a chance to show what she could do. On the field a year later, Bubela knew she was going to be special.
“From my first at-bat I knew it was going to be on,” Bubela said. “I felt that swing and it was so good and I was seeing the ball real good. So I knew that season was going to be good.”
Bubela tore through the season with a .542 batting average, the sophomore slugger was productive with a team-high 59 RBIs on 39 hits. Bubel had the second-most RBIs in 4A.
“Just in the short time I have gotten to know Kate, I have learned that the girls look up to her as a player, they look at her as a leader that leads by example,” Ladybird softball coach Haley Colwell said. “Not only does she play hard but she also is a good teammate that will have a (lasting) impact on our (Ladybird) softball program.”
Armed with a first-team all-state honor, Bubela isn’t satisfied.
“Hopefully my senior year (I can win) Gatorade Player Of The Year, because I know (East Bernard’s) Samantha Show got it,” Bubela said.
Show won it twice in East Bernard in 2013 and 2015, this year the award was given to Sophia Simpson a senior pitcher from (5A) Barbers Hill who had a 0.18 ERA this season.
The Matlock twins, were an integral part of the Ladybirds season this past year. Mackenzie hit .361 from her lead-off spot and scored 40 runs. Madisyn was the clean-up hitter and had a .377 batting average and her 21 RBIs was second-most on the Ladybirds.
East Bernard and Wharton both had two players receiver all-state honors. Along with Warncke, junior Morgan Gasch received an honorable mention. Wharton seniors Cyra Rodriguez and Asijah Hammons both received honorable mentions.