BY MICHAEL HELD
KENLY—The North Johnston softball team may have come up just short of its team goal of winning a state title this past season as the Panthers fell to eventual state champion South Granville in the eastern regional championship series.
However, the Panthers’ record-breaking 27-3 season that included an undefeated run through the Eastern Plains Conference could not go unnoticed as the Panthers’ senior catcher Jada Santiago was recognized as the conference player of the year in a unanimous vote by EPC coaches.
Santiago, bound to play collegiate ball at UNC-W this fall, carried one of the most consistent and feared bats in the state this past season. She ended her senior campaign with a .612 batting average, drove in 62 runs and blasted 14 home runs.
Her 62 RBIs were the most in the entire state and her 14 home run total was tied for first in the state along with Mount Pleasant’s Shi Cain.
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