By Brandon Speck
Smithville has clinched its division title, but that’s not the goal for the Lady Seminoles.
Smithville (17-6) still has the fresh taste of losing in last season’s Class 1A North finals against West Union and wants another taste of 2012’s state championship.
One key to that run is the meat of the lineup – 2,3 and 4 hitters Lane Kennedy, Breanna Edgeworth and Angel Guyton.
On a team hitting .396, Kennedy bats .500 with 31 RBI, seven doubles, four triples and a pair of home runs. Edgeworth is hitting .410 with 25 RBI, nine doubles and a pair of home runs. Guyton, a freshman among the two juniors in a trio one opposing coached called a “murderer’s row,” is batting .486 with a team-high 33 RBI and three home runs.
“They’re pretty salty. If we’ve got some runners on base, we can do some things right there,” Smithville coach Jeremy Duke said. “They’re hard to get through.”
There is balance, too. In the 9-spot is a speedy sophomore, Katie King. King is hitting .389.
Balance is helping alleviate the absence of leadoff hitter Billie Claire Goode, who’s been out for two weeks now and not expected back for at least another after an injury against Hamilton.
“We’ve had our ups and downs,” Edgeworth said. “It’s gonna happen, but we’ve had times, too, when we’re all on at the same time.”
Speed has helped, too. Kennedy is 9-of-9 in stolen bases. The team has stolen 41-of-43. Laken Armstrong, Guyton, Goode, Olivia Roberts, King, Macy McCain and Claire McNeese combine for a perfect 23-of-23.
Teams stand in the way, like West Union – the two could possibly meet in Round 2.
“I think we’re one of the ones in the state that can compete for it,” Duke said of a potential state run. “You have to get lucky here and there and sometimes the ball has to bounce your way. To say we’re going to, I’ve been there too many times to know it takes a lot of things going you way to have that happen.
“But I think we definitely have a chance for sure.”