Happy Valley Lady Warriors softball preview

Published 3:24 pm Monday, March 13, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...
By Ron Marvel
Star Correspondent
Stability has been something lacking in the Lady Warriors softball program, this will be the third year in a row that the Lady Warriors are beginning the season with a different coaching staff. New Coaches Hunter Buchanan and Austin Hicks hope to provide the program with that needed stability. There is excitement in the air with this program and the roster swelled from 12 last year to 26 this year and which has brought some natural competition at various spots. “This year’s bunch will need to improve daily, we plan on competing for a league championship” Buchanan stated. Though the losses of Lingerfelt and Rice will be felt there is some hope with this year’s squad that they can improve on last year’s record.
 The strength of this team may be found right up its spine. Seniors Ella Marvel and Reagan Street who both recently signed to continue their playing careers in college will be asked to provide leadership and help carry this team. Marvel will be the primary pitcher and get the bulk of the innings. “Ella will pound the zone and make people miss,” Buchanan shared. Street will anchor the batting lineup and has tremendous bat speed while flashing a strong arm and good leather at the shortstop spot. In the catcher’s spot, Trista Bowers (JR) will provide stability behind the plate she will make the routine plays and has the experience you’re looking for from that position. In the centerfield, Aleah Grindstaff (JR) is both athletic and is a strong contact hitter who will serve as the team’s leadoff “Aleah is a strong leadoff and will do us well in that spot, defensively she is as good as it gets” Buchanan added. Fresh off the basketball court, Seniors Kadie Bailey and Maley Guy, who are very athletic, are both looking to get innings at first base and rightfield, but they have not played in a couple of years and the coaching staff is working diligently to get the rust off them. Second and third base is an open competition right now. Chloe Cochran (FR) and Natalie Cline (SO) are competing at second base and Makayla Miller (JR) and Kinsley Harris (SO) are competing at third base. Julie Nieminski (JR) has a great deal of speed and has worked hard to become a strong outfielder and she has a stronghold on leftfield. Trinity Bowers will see time in the field and serve as the primary backup, while Kadey Bailey will pitch some in relief.
Offensively this team does well making contact and will put the ball in play; the first three hitters in Grindstfaff, Nieminski and Street will get on base and Street has good power. They do have some speed in their lineup and their speedsters will have the green light, the middle of the lineup will feature some combination of Bowers, Marvel and Miller and will need to move baserunners when called upon.
“We are young at spots, but our Seniors do a good job keeping our younger players focused and we will have to field our positions night in and night out and not extend innings,” Coach Hicks added.
Outlook- How well this team performs may come down to two questions what kind of production can they get out of the bottom of their lineup and how much will the younger payers be able to contribute. The Lady Warriors have talent in key positions and will battle each night, but they will have to stay healthy until those younger players develop. Johnson County looks to be the favorite and after South Greene lost 8 starters last year they may be down; second place in this conference will be a dog fight and the Lady Warriors will be right in that mix.
2022 Season 8-20
Lost in the Second Round Conference Tournament to South Greene.
Key Losses-C/third Base Maddie Lingerfelt All-County, All-Conference signed SWVA Community College and Laura Rice-SS/P All-County All-Conference.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox