SOFTBALL AREA FAST-PITCH TEAMS TO WATCH

By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal

West Union
– Coach: Lisa Bogue

– Division: 2-1A

– 2010 Record: 22-9, lost to Smithville in North championship series.

– The Players: P Danielle Taylor, sr.; SS/C Leah Paige Goolsby, sr.; 3B Hannah McQuary, soph.; 1B Julianna Garner, fr.

– Quick Hits: Eagles must replace catcher and entire outfield. … Taylor posted a 19-7 record with 136K last season.

Hamilton
– Coach: Jason Cobb

– Division: 3-2A

– 2010 Record: 18-12, lost in second round of playoffs.

– The Players: OF Caitlyn Atkins, sr.; 3B/P Anna Imel, sr.; P/OF Lexus Jordan, jr.; P/OF Cheyenne Logan, fr.

– Quick Hits: The Lions will start fourth freshmen and one eighth grader. … Logan, Imel and Jordan will share pitching duties.

Wheeler
– Coach: Andy Richey

– Division: 1-1A

– 2010 Record: 22-7, lost in second round of playoffs.

– The Players: P April Thompson, soph.; SS/P Brooke Jones, sr.; OF Mallory Michael, sr.; C Gracie Michael, jr.; 1B Jonie Green, sr.

– Quick Hits: The Eagles’ lineup features six returning senior starters. … Jones, a Blue Mountain signee, will help rest Thompson on mound.

Houston
– Coach: Keith Jernigan

– Division: 4-4A

– 2010 Record: 32-6, lost in the North championship series

– The Players: P/OF Haley Gravat, jr.; OF Raven Hayes, sr.; OF Brittany Winter, sr.; C K.B. Weaver, sr.

– Quick Hits: The Lady Hilltoppers lost their starting C and 2B from last year’s team. … Team has solid 1-2 punch on mound with Gravat and sophomore Audi Dendy. … Won 20 straight to start last season.

Smithville
– Coach: Jeremy Duke

– Division: 4-1A

– 2010 Record: 27-8, lost in state championship series.

– The Players: P Kami Roberts, sr.; 3B Meagan Whitehead, jr.; 1B Kyla Ford, soph.; C Breanna Edgeworth, 8th

– Quick Hits: The Seminoles have played in three consecutive state championship series. … Roberts, an ICC signee, was 17-5 with a 1.72 ERA, 109K in 126.1 innings. … Edgeworth started at 1B last year.

Tupelo
– Coach: Michael Gable

– Division: 2-6A

– 2010 Record: 10-18, lost in first round of playoffs.

– The Players: P Katie Cole, sr; SS Ashley Burgett, sr.; 1B Tori Smith, sr.

– Quick Hits: Cole signed with Wallace (Ala.) State. … Gable hopes to field a better defense, one that makes fewer errors.
South Pontotoc

– Coach: Adam Patterson

– Division: 2-3A

– Record 2010: 14-12, did not make playoffs.

– The Players: C Jala Parker, sr.; 3B Anna Roberts, sr.; P/SS Emily Henson, jr.; 1B Derian Simpson, jr.

– Quick Hits: Cougars have eight starters returning. … Katelyn Ferguson, a freshman, is expected to share pitching duties.

Nettleton
– Coach: Chris Kidd

– Division: 2-3A

– 2010 Record: 28-3, won Class 3A state championship.

– The Players: P Michele Hester, sr.; OF Jesse Patterson, sr.; 2B Makenzie Hawkins, jr.; 3B Hayley Parker, sr.

– Quick Hits: Parker batted .423 with 5 HR and 41 RBI for two-time state champs. … Hester posted a 25-1 record with 96K in 146 innings.