The honors keep rolling in for Sidney Argo.
The Fleming County softball player capped off a phenomenal freshman season by being named a 2018 MaxPreps National High School Underclass All-American, after claiming The Ledger Independent’s All-Area Softball Player of the Year honors earlier this summer.
She didn’t even know she made the list, released at the end of June, until her father, Allen Argo, received a text one day.
“We really didn’t know I was named to it. Some guy texted it to my dad,” said Argo. “It was really cool though.
“I just wanted to thank everybody that helped me get there, like my coaches and teammates,” added Argo.
Argo, a Kentucky Softball Coaches Association Class 2A All-State honorable mention selection, got the Lady Panthers’ offense going early in games with a .691 batting average and a .724 on base percentage from the leadoff spot. Her batting average was second in the state to Letcher County Central’s Alyssa Franklin, who hit an even .700, and her on base percentage was also second to Franklin’s .745.
She led the state with a .626 batting average the year before as an eighth grader.
“I really wanted to try to beat it,” said Argo. “I don’t remember what I had this year, but that was one of my goals this year – to try to beat it.”
She enters the box at just 5-feet tall, so power isn’t at a premium, but her speed and ability to slap the ball from the left-handed batters box – she’s a natural righty – gets the job done. Her style of batting is something she’s done since fifth or sixth grade, she says.
“I really struggled from the right side. I was really little, so I didn’t have a lot of power,” said Argo. “Ron O’Hare introduced it to me and I’ve had a lot of success with it.”
Of the 65 hits she recorded in 94 at bats, Argo had just two doubles and one triple, but managed to score 60 times with the help of 40 stolen bases.
She played in all 29 games for the 17-12 Lady Panthers, which is at least two games less than the rest of the players in the top-25 in runs scored in Kentucky. She finished third in the state in the category, behind Ryle’s Maclai Branson, who scored 62 times in 31 games, and Oldham County’s Elana Ornelas, who scored 69 times in 43 games.
Her 40 stolen bases were good for fourth in the state. The leader in the category, Mallory Myers of Paducah Tilghman, had 44. Most of the time Nathan Ryver, who resigned as Fleming County’s coach after the season, gave her the signal to go, but her aggressiveness on the base path comes from playing travel ball with Kentucky Premier Softball out of Ashland, she says.
Confidence in the next few batters certainly helped matters, too.
Seventh grader Bethany Sergent followed Argo in the lineup. She had a .244 average with 19 RBIs. Sergent was also the team-leader in sacrifices – she had eight sacrifice bunts and one sacrifice fly – and was tied for first on the team in walks with Argo.
Then was Fleming County’s lone senior – Morgan Fern.
Fern was named second team All-State in Class 2A. She finished her senior season batting .512 with 16 doubles, two triples and 10 home runs. She drove in 55 runs, the seventh-most in the state, and scored 37 times. She finished ninth in the state in slugging percentage at 1.107.
“They just helped me a lot – Morgan’s power and Bethany’s speed, too.”
Argo is expecting defenses to adjust to her style is the coming years, and she’s already been working on making changes at the plate to continue to grow her already-impressive average.
“I’m going to have to learn to do different things. They’re going to start playing different defenses on me,” said Argo. “There’s a lot of different things you can do with it. I’m trying to hit left handed, hard slap and soft slap.”
It won’t be easy to raise a .691 average, like she did with her .626 average as an eighth grader, but Argo still has three years left to terrorize opposing pitchers at the high school level and try to increase it even more.