The Lady Tigers softball program is revamped and eagerly awaits the start of the season. Due to the weather around the entire state, we have been limited on getting outside. The girls to this point have been working extremely hard inside improving overall athletic ability, core strength and getting our feet underneath us. We do have a noticable difference in the infield with the departure of Kelsey Bechtholdt and Emily FitzGerald but newcomers Madison Hubbard and Nicole Jacobi will fill the holes and give us a great shot at solidifying the infield.
Sr. Taylor Arndt and Sr. Dannica West have started for the Tigers the last three years and have been a huge impact on our success. Taylor's ability to ignite our club at the top of the line-up is undeniable and her .465 batting average accompanied with 3 triples, 1 home run, 10 doubles, 38 RBI's and 28 runs scored last year prove that she is an impact player. "D" as I call her moved from catching her sophomore year to the circle and picked up 11 wins on the season had a 2.86 era, struck out of 100 batters and hit .418 in the clean up spot with 4 homeruns, 9 doubles and 34 RBI's.
Sophomore's Jillian Zachry and Jaiden Waud had spectacular freshmen campaigns contributing more than we could have imagined. Zachry played primarily 2B, but also stepped up and pitched for the Tigers pitching a complete game against the Turks in a 4-3 loss where other SO. Samantha Vanderwel made an amazing diving catch in centerfield for the 3rd out only to be over ruled and two runs would cross the plate leading to a Turk victory. Zachry finished the year with a sizzling .367 BA, 19 runs, 10 SB and will again be counted on to step into the circle and get it done. Waud's thunder at the plate was noticed early in the season when she ripped a line drive over the right fielder's head and raced around the park for her first home run as a high school athlete. She has a strong arm, quick feet and provides alot of fire power for us. Jaiden will see alot of time behind the dish for us in 2017, but don't be surprised if she's in the cirlce too. Samantha stuggled a bit pulling the trigger at the plate in 2016 but I believe that was a bit of nerves and trying to fit in. She has good speed and gets the best break on the ball in the OF. She will roam CF for us in 2017 and look for a much different result when she steps up to the plate.
Sr. Huntter Lingle and Jr. Joclyn Harding also return for the 2017 campaign. Depsite their numbers last year, the girls work their butts off and did a good job for us all year. Huntter provides us with 1 of only 2 left handed bats and has great speed to go along with intelligence on the base paths. Harding has played primarily in the outfield but could see some time in other positions as well.
Sr. Jessica Bechtholdt, Sr. Makenna Stewart, Sr. Stephanie Hardison and Jr. Aurora Denning round out the upperclassmen on the team. Jessica has come along way in three years and really packs a punch at the plate. She has game experience and has proven that she can touch elite pitching. Stewart is also a 3rd year player that has had limited time but continues to come out improve her skills and will see some time this year for her efforts. Hardison returns after a year off. Steph started for us in the OF in the post seasn as a flex because of her speed, her ability to track down fly balls and her strong arm. Denning is probably the most improved player in 3 years and has earned a spot on the team and will see action on both Varsity and JV.
Freshmen Rylee Downs and Jennifer Rodenbaugh also will compete for time on the field and provide us athleticism and young talent.
We are currently working extremly hard to get some JV games in 2017. This is a great feeder system that is extremely important in building a program and getting the girls game experience if they do not play travel ball or have no other experience in softball.
I want to acknowledge Sr. Drew Benzion, Fr. Destinee Gonzales, Fr. Mackenzy Petit, Fr. Lillian Reedy, Jr. Danielle Almaguer and Fr. Lindsey Kramme for coming out and improving their softball skills and givng us an opportunity to have the numbers for a second team.