BMC softball ready to open first season

Back in the fall Kevin Barefield got a glimpse of what the first Blue Mountain College softball team could turn out to be, and the Lady Toppers’ coach liked what he saw.
“We were aggressive; that was the main thing,” Barefield says. “None of our players went to the plate looking for a walk. They were looking to hit the ball and to put in play. That’s all you can ask for.”
BMC plays its inaugural game Saturday at the New Albany SportsPlex against Williams Baptist College.
The Lady Toppers played four games in the fall and posted a 3-0-1 record. “I felt really good about how well we came together as a team,” Barefield says. “We had some injuries that kind of side-tracked us, but our players responded by making whatever adjustments were necessary and just played it on out.”
BMC had three starters injured with in the top of the first inning of its first fall game. So far, the Lady Toppers have had three knee surgeries, a dislocated finger and torn hand ligaments, a severe high ankle sprain, and an assortment of less-crippling injuries.
“That’s just something we have to deal with,” Barefield says. “All teams have injuries, but I didn’t know we would have so many so soon.”
BMC’s pitching rotation of freshmen Meggin Nelson of Vardaman, Brooke Denton of Pontotoc, and Halley Beckham from Adamsville, Tenn., will be, Barefield says, the team’s strength.
“All three are freshman, but they are three totally different pitchers style-wise,” he says. “Of course, Beckham was one of the knee surgeries and Denton dislocated her finger, but they’ve all worked hard in the off-season and should be ready.”
A pair of junior college standouts – Jessica Bumpus of Middleton, Tenn., and Jackson State Community College; and Haylei Plummer of Pope and Northwest Mississippi Community College –provided “immediate leadership” for the Lady Toppers.
“Bumpus is a really strong outfielder but when we had a couple of injuries she came in and played second base like she’d been there all along,” Barefield says. “Plummer is an outstanding shortstop who also gives us instant offense.”
Sam Sagely, a freshman center fielder from Corinth, saw very little action in the fall because of a sprained ankle. “Sam is the ideal leadoff hitter with great speed,” Barefield says. “We’re excited that she’s ready and able to go right now.”
“We’ve got 16 players on our roster and 14 of them are first-year college players,” Barefield says. “We really don’t know what to expect, but we know it’s going to be fun.”