Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 5, 2008
By Brad Greer
After finishing third place in Class 1A last season, the North Delta fastpitch softball team will look to make a run at a state championship this season. The Green Wave opened their 2008 season on a high note last Tuesday with a 14-2 victory over Calhoun Academy.
Seven starters return from last year’s 22-9 squad that captured the District 1 1A crown while finishing runner-up in the North division. The Lady Wave will return a young but experienced team that will have no seniors on the roster.
Third year head coach Brooke Turner said defense and versatility will be some of the strengths of this year’s team.
“We are a young team that only lost three starters from last year. I think our defense will be solid and offensively, we’ve got some good sticks in our lineup that are going to be hard to strikeout. But what I like about this team is that we have so many people that can play different positions,” said Turner.
Samantha Massoth and Mary Jane Morrow will play a pair of key roles as both are expected to be the team’s top pitchers. Morrow will see action in right field when not in the circle while Massoth will see playing time at first base and right field. Laci and Courtney DuBravec will battle it out to see who will replace departing senior Courtney McCuller at the catcher’s position.
Around the horn, Madison Greenlee, Sarah Waldrip and Massoth are penciled in at the first base slot while Lauren Kimzey and Julianna Morrow will be at second. Bradi Beard and Courtney DuBravac hold down the hot corner at third base and Linsey Hebert and Erin Snider will see playing time at shortstop.
The outfield will include Morgan Lawrence in left field, Vikki Johnson and Marley Newton in center field while Waldrip will join Morrow and Massoth in right.
This year’s co-captains of the team will be Lawrence and Morrow.
“These two are the heart of our team,” said Turner. “They are very vocal and keep everyone up. Both push themselves and their teammates to be the best they can be. I believe they will lead this team further than North Delta softball has ever been before.”
Turner said the district should be very competitive this season with Delta Academy being one of the tougher teams.
“I am very superstitious when it comes to predicting things, but I will say if we play to the best of our ability we will be hard to beat,” said Turner.
The Lady Wave will open up district play Monday at home against West Memphis, (Ark.) at 4 p.m.
The North Delta Junior Varsity squad will sport a very strong team as they opened their season with a 15-0 blanking of Calhoun.
Grayson Sims, Peyton Rico and Courtney Dubravec will be the pitching rotation. Hastings Neal and Rico will see time at first base while Claire Gant will see time at second. Julianna Morrow and Neal will hold down third base and Erin Snider rounds out the infield at shortstop.
Laura Beth Parker and South Panola transfer Katelyn McCain hold down left field while Marley Newton is in center. McCain and Jordan Pullen each will see time in right.
“The J.V. team is really young, but is a great bunch that works hard. They are learning more and more each time they step on the field. I think by next year they are going to give the older girls a run for their positions if not this year. This team is full of talent and has the ability to help us win a state championship,” said Turner.