The Harrison County Fillies enter the 2013 softball season with some key holes to fill from graduation of their pitcher, first baseman and center fielder from last year’s 38th District Champion.
Tracey Hicks, who pitched since she was an eighth grader, Lucinda Boyers the first sacker and Emalee Little, the center fielder, have all graduated and must be replaced for this season.
Coach Christine Garnett and her staff have a young yet experienced group who they hope and believe will be able to fill the void.
“We have some good, young girls and some veterans to provide leadership,” noted Garnett. “We just need to mold them into a unit that can work together.”
Returning is the leading home run hitter in the area last year, Ashley Coppage.
Coppage will split her time at third base and first while terrorizing the opposition pitchers with her ability to hit both the long ball and for average.
Senior catcher Morgan Florence returns to add a steady hand behind the plate.
Florence is also a consistent hitter who knows how to get on base. Florence may also spend some time at shortstop depending on the development of some of the younger players both in the field and behind the plate.
The third senior returning is Jasmeen Smith who began last year as a key designated runner but was injured early in the year.
Smith should also see some time in the outfield during her senior campaign.
Freshman Jamie Davis will return for the Fillies to serve as the main pitcher for the season.
Davis pitched several innings last year and will be counted on to carry the load for the Fillies this season.
Three other freshmen have some varsity experience and will be counted on to step into major roles early in the season.
Sydney Motell and Morgan Grose each played some outfield last year and will see action in the outfield during 2013, and Shelby Ishmael has some outfield experience but could also play some on the infield.
Others counted on to contribute in major ways before the season is over are juniors Cathy Chasteen and Katelyn Hollar, ninth graders Anna Marsh, Macy Martin and Courtney Newsome, eighth grader Taylor Reffett, and sixth graders Bailey Conley and Jima Hill.
The district will be tougher this year with defending region champ Nicholas County returning all but their pitcher from last year and Pendleton County beginning with a new coach and a new outlook for the game.
The schedule is tough as the Fillies strive to improve on last year’s 23-12-1 record.
“We have a tough schedule with the trip to Owensboro in May and the trips to Clarksville, Tenn., and Corbin in April,” admitted Garnett. “We also have the McDonald’s Tournament here and a home game with powerhouse Ryle on our schedule. We are looking forward to the challenge.”
Region competition also dots the Fillies schedule as they face Bourbon County, who ousted the Fillies from the regional last year, Montgomery County, who is always a contender, and Bishop Brossart who figures to rebound after a slow season last year.
Garnett and her staff of Glenn Lonaker, Roger Coppage, Tony Conley and James Paul Switzer figure to have the young and talented squad ready for the challenge.
The regular season opens at home with Grant County on March 19 for a JV/varsity doubleheader.
The preseason scrimmage will bring in Lafayette for a Saturday, March 9, contest that begins at noon.