Player of the Year: Bell rings loudly again for Kennesaw Mountain
by Carlton D. White
cwhite@mdjonline.com
December 03, 2013 12:06 AM | 2479 views | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Malea Bell
<BR>Staff photo by Jeff Stanton
Malea Bell
Staff photo by Jeff Stanton
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KENNESAW — Malea Bell is a lot of things, but one thing she isn’t is inconsistent. Kennesaw Mountain’s senior shortstop had a stellar junior season in 2012, leading the Lady Mustangs to the Region 4AAAAAA championship and a runner-up finish in the Class AAAAAA state playoffs. She batted .414 with 38 RBIs, three triples, 10 home runs, 15 doubles and 49 runs scored and helped the team to a school-record 33 win. Bell’s season helped her garner numerous accolades and awards, and the only question that remained was whether or not she could duplicate some — if not all — of the accomplishments in 2013. Judging by the numbers, it was mission accomplished. Bell led Kennesaw Mountain in batting average, hits, doubles and home runs for the second straight season and helped the Lady Mustangs to back-to-back region titles and a fifth-place showing at the Class AAAAAA tournament. Her numbers included a .445 average along with 36 RBIs, three triples, 10 home runs, 17 doubles and 47 runs scored. For her exploits, Bell is the 2013 Marietta Daily Journal/Cobb County Softball Player of the Year, earning the award for the second straight season. “It’s a great feeling to be able to duplicate this accomplishment,” said Bell, who has signed to play at Georgia Tech. “It’s all because of the hard work my teammates and I put in every day. They helped me work towards this goal. “My coaches and teammates believed in me and I was determined not to (have a drop-off in production.). I knew and had the confidence that I could come back and play just as well as I did last year. I wasn’t scared that I wouldn’t be able to help my team.” Bell went into 2013 with a goal of being better than she was a season ago. “I wanted to beat what I did last year,” she said. “I didn’t want to underachieve. I wanted to be player of the year again, and I worked hard to make it happen, so I’m really excited I got it.” Bell has had an outstanding career at Kennesaw Mountain. A four-year starter, she was a first-team all-state selection in 2011 and ’12, and she was named the Class AAAAAA state player of the year last season. Bell’s career highlights also include being a part of two region championships and helping the Lady Mustangs to three straight appearances at the state finals in Columbus. “It was a great opportunity to go to Columbus three years in a row,” Bell said. “It took the whole effort of the team and the coaches to get there, and every year it was so much fun.” Every year Bell went to the finals, she made her presence known. “I hit a first-pitch home run in our first game at state the last three years,” she said. “Pitchers are usually nervous when they first get down there and the first pitch is usually right over the plate. I just waited on it and, each time, I knocked it out.” With her high school career at an end, Bell has nothing but fond memories. “It was an amazing four years playing with a great group of girls who were as committed to the sport as I am,” she said. “They were great coaches and great players who played for each other. It was a great four years.”

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