Lady Choctaw senior trio helped lead team to program’s highest finish

Friday, May 31, 2024
A trio of Dyer County High School softball seniors saw their high school careers come to an end last week in Murfreesboro during the team’s run to the TSSAA Class AAA Semifinals. Lady Choctaw seniors (from left) Allie Shires, Maddie Claire Wilkerson, and Emma Fair end their careers as part of three state tournament teams in four years while also helping to lead Dyer County to its first semifinal appearance in softball.
State Gazette photo/Jason Peevyhouse

JASON PEEVYHOUSE

jpeevyhouse@stategazette.com

With the end of Dyer County softball’s run to the TSSAA Class AAA Semifinals last Thursday evening in Murfreesboro, the careers of three Lady Choctaw seniors came to a close on the grandest stage in Tennessee just one win shy of playing of the state championship.

Lady Choctaws Maddie Claire Wilkerson, Allie Shires, and Emma Fair were part of three state tournament teams. On a team heavy with underclassmen – 14 combined sophomores and freshmen – the Dyer County senior trio helped lead their team to the Lady Choctaws’ highest finish in program history. This year’s orange and white softball team ended its season just one win away from playing in the state championship game.

Dyer County Head Coach Shanna O’Bright shared her thoughts on her three seniors.

“Maddie Claire was a four-year starter,” O’Bright said. “She was consistent her entire high school career. Made an impact as a freshman and continued to do so, really stepping up this year into a leadership role.

“Allie Shires and Emma Fair have been successful in multiple roles over the course of four years and both will go on to continue playing softball at the next level. They have been solid contributors, both offensively and defensively; whatever their team needed them to be the past four years.”

Looking into next spring, Dyer County will return eight of it’s nine full-time starters who were in the field during the state tournament in Murfreesboro. Only Wilkerson played in the field during the five games the Lady Choctaws’ played in the state tournament, manning right field when she wasn’t in the circle pitching. Fair, a Southwest Tennessee Community College signee, provided some offensive spark the bench while Shires, also provided help off the bench, scoring one of the two runs Dyer County scored in the final game of the season.

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