ND Fastpitch preseason

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 27, 2012

Lady Green Wave aims for next level

By Brad Greer

After a state runner-up finish last season, the North Delta Green Wave fastpitch softball team has set its sights one game higher as they prepare for the 2012 season opener by hosting Canton Academy at 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. today with a junior varsity contest scheduled in between games.

The two-time defending District 1-AA Green Wave returns seven starters from last year’s 21-12 squad that lost to Leake 3-1 in the Academy AA championship game.

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Bradi Beard, who signed a basketball scholarship with Blue Mountain College and Northwest Community College signee Laci DuBravec were the only starters lost. Casey Gee is the lone senior dotting the roster this year for the Lady Wave.

“I don’t like to brag much, but I really like the makeup of the team we have got this year,” said third-year coach Damon Plummer.

“Nearly all of these young ladies have been playing ball together all their lives and are hungry to make something big happen here at North Delta. They have  won a district championship the last three of four years in a row and now they want to take it the next level,” said Plummer.

As in most cases, pitching and defense will be key for North Delta throughout the season if the Waves are seeking another trip to the state tournament.

Junior Peyton Rico returns as the ace of the pitching staff while eighth graders Sara Johnson and Janie Brasell are expected to see action in both varsity and junior varsity games.

“For us to be successful this year our pitchers have got to throw strikes and we have got to field the ball. Those were the two things that carried us to the state tournament last year,” said Plummer.

“Peyton really stepped it up last year leadership-wise. She showed a lot of guts in pitching all five games of the state tournament and I think it rubbed  off on the rest of her teammates to show we need more than one person to reach our goal,” said Plummer.

Plummer went on the say Johnson and Brasell could have a key role in the pitching rotation as the season progresses.

“I am expecting Sara to help us out on the varsity level this year. She’s getting up there around 56-57 (miles-per-hour). She is a raw talent that just needs to get out there and pitch. Janie is the same way. Both of these ladies have a bright future ahead of them.”

Sophomore Anna Lloyd will take over the catching duties for DuBravec while fellow sophomore Hannah Heafner takes over first base. Lloyd led the team in hitting with a .500 clip.

Junior Julianna Morrow returns at second base while a pair of freshman, Mary Margaret Pearson and Myles Durham will be at shortstop. Junior Courtney DuBravec anchors the hot corner at third base.

The outfield will consist of juniors Hastings Neal in left and Kristen Moudy in right while sophomore Maribeth Johns holds down the center field spot.

Plummer said the district race should be wide open with Marshall and Carroll fielding solid clubs.

Haylei Plummer will assist her father on the varsity while heading the junior varsity program.

North Delta will also take part in the Bayou Academy Tournament tomorrow at Delta State where they will take on Canton at 10:20 followed by Deer Creek at 11:40 then conclude pool play at 3:40 against Washington.

The winner of pool A and pool B will square off in the championship game slated for 5 p.m.
Meet the team on page A11.