After being on opposite sides of Maries County softball bragging rights games over the last four years, Vienna pitcher Abrea Simmons and Belle infielder Ryleigh Long will now be teammates for at …
After being on opposite sides of Maries County softball bragging rights games over the last four years, Vienna pitcher Abrea Simmons and Belle infielder Ryleigh Long will now be teammates for at least two years as members of the East Central College (ECC) Lady Falcon softball team.
“I’m really excited to become her (Ryleigh Long’s) teammate,” Simmons said. “After four years of playing against her, I have seen her dedication to the game and I know that dedication is something I value in a teammate.”
Earning numerous accolades at the (Gasconade Valley) conference, district, region and state levels, Simmons helped Vienna’s Lady Eagles to a pair of district championships to go along with a Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) Class 1 State Title back in 2020 and a quarterfinal appearance this past fall.
Helping Vienna to a 17-5 record during her junior season in 2021, Simmons finished 8-3 while starting 12 games.
During those 12 starts, Simmons allowed 61 hits and 46 runs (20 earned) to go along with 60 strikeouts and just 11 walks.
Batting .259 as a junior, Abrea recorded 15 hits broken down to 10 singles and five doubles.
Her five doubles put her second on the team that season behind Terra Huffman’s seven.
Simmons was also hit by a pitch three times in the fall of 2021 good for second on the team behind Salene George’s five times of being hit by a pitch.
Patient at the plate, Simmons’ nine walks was good for a tie for second on the team with Riley Rosentreter. Kadence George led the Lady Eagles with 11 walks.
During her junior season, Simmons had two hits against Cuba and Crocker.
In the pitching circle, Simmons recorded a season-high eight strikeouts against Cuba to go with three shutouts that fall against Stoutland, Cuba and Belle.
Denied a district title by St. Elizabeth during her junior season, Simmons and the Lady Eagles flipped the script in 2022.
Shutting out Richland in the district semifinals, Simmons and the Lady Eagles turned back the Lady Hornets 6-4 in the district championship game just 10 days after a 10-6 loss in regular-season play.
Picking up her offensive production in 2022, Simmons racked up 26 hits good for third on the team behind Marissa Hollis (28) and Kayla Hertzing (31).
Simmons and Hertzing tied for first on the team with 23 singles.
In runs batted in (RBI), Simmons finished with 23 good for second on the team behind Hertzing (31).
During her senior season, Simmons made the most of her noise in the circle winning a school record 19 games to go with six losses.
In her 25 starts, she struck out 137 batters while allowing just 32 walks and finishing with a 2.20 earned-run average (ERA).
Her best game as a senior came on the road at Richland in late September recording a season-high three hits and four RBI.
She was also hit by a pitch three times against St. James.
Earning All-GVC 1st Team and All-District 2nd Team honors as a senior, Long will trade her Lady Tiger red and black for ECC Lady Falcon blue and white.
At or near the top of several statistical categories for the Lady Tigers, Long led Belle with 14 doubles and 29 RBI.
She hit three home runs tying her for the team lead with All-State freshman Aubrey Rehmert.
Long was second on the team with a .435 batting average, .479 on-base percentage, .753 slugging percentage and a 1.516 OPS.
She also recorded 37 hits, two triples and seven walks placing her second in all three categories for the Lady Tigers.
During her senior season, Long’s best game came against Laquey’s Lady Hornets where she had a season-high four hits in addition to driving in a season-high three runs.
Her three home runs came against Linn, St. James and Owensville.
She also drove in three runs to go along with scoring three times against the Lady Tigers.
Long also stole a season-high two bases against Montgomery Co.
“I know that she is a great player and I can’t wait to see what I can learn from her once we start playing together,” Simmons said.
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