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Coppage, Murphy could lead Fillies at the mound

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By Lee Kendall

The Fillies softball team lost a few key players off last year’s district championship team, but return a solid core of veterans and have hopes for another successful season.

Lost to graduation were second-baseman Laura Kendall, center-fielder Kacey Muntz and pitcher Meghan Bullock, a 15-game winner for the Fillies last year.

Last year, the Fillies finished the year with a 20-11-1 record, with the tie coming against Bourbon County in the championship game of the McDonald’s Classic, played early in the season. A late-night start and an injury forced the teams to postpone that game with the score knotted at 2-2.

 This year’s team will be built around senior third-baseman Charley Hatfield, junior catcher Lorraine Dennie and junior shortstop Rachel Hatfield.

All three players have been varsity contributors for the Fillies for their entire high school careers, extending even to their middle school years.

“We will expect a lot of production and leadership out of those three players, that is for sure,” said Harrison County coach Christine Garnett. “All three of them have the experience and talent to be among the best players in this region, at the very least.”

Replacing Bullock on the mound will be the key to success for the Fillies in a pitching-dominated sport.

“How good we will be, will be determined by how good our starting pitching will be, there is no doubt about that,” said HCHS pitching coach Gary Philpott.

According to Philpott, eighth-grader Ashley Coppage and senior Brittany Murphy will be given first crack at leading the Fillies from the mound.

“Long-term, Ashley has a lot of potential, but she has to understand that when she is on the mound, she is the leader of the team,” said Philpott. “If things get tough and she drops her head and loses focus, so will her teammates, that’s just the way it is. Brittany has experience in varsity games and will give us a solid effort every time she goes out there.”