by Anthony Sizemore, Student Sportswriter
The 2013 Alice Lloyd Lady Eagles softball team looks to make major strides this season. The team feels like they can do some big things this year and raise some eyebrows throughout the conference.
Since taking over the program three years ago, Coach John Mills says that the task has been very challenging. ALC has had to close a substantial gap over the last few years, but the coach feels like they have made great improvements in that area. The effort on the recruiting trail has been a lot better, and it has paid dividends with the likes of players such as Megan Boswell and Kristin Fields.
“When I recruited Megan out of Powell County, I let her know then that she would be one of the staples of our program,” Mills said. “I had to work hard to get her here because she was a very high level catcher, an all-state catcher. When you can get an all-state player, you have the ability to draw other high level players. I credit her a lot with where we are at right now and with helping attract the attention of other, high-caliber players.”
Coach Mills believes that if the ball club can solve its pitching issues that they will be in solid shape. Picking up transfer Whitley Albury and recruiting Kayla Stambaugh should shore up some problems that the Lady Eagles have had with the pitching staff. As with baseball, Coach Mills believes that pitching dictates the game.
“There’s that old axiom that good pitching beats good hitting,” said the coach.
“Pitching is at least 75% of your success,” Coach Mills continued. “If you don’t have it, you’re not going to be successful; and, if you do have it, you’re going to compete. This year, we have two pitchers that I really feel will be competitive in this league. They have multiple pitches. They have speed on the ball and the stamina to go a lot of innings. That’s been our biggest need. Now, we have tremendous pitchers, and now, we have people in positions to back them up. That’s going to be a great thing.”
The starting eight should look like this: Megan Boswell as the catcher (Stanton, Kentucky), Shayla Brinegar at first base (Irvine, Kentucky), Tori Hammonds occupying second base (Prestonsburg, Kentucky), Kayla Gooslin appears to be the lead candidate for third base (McCarr, Kentucky), Kristin Fields at shortstop (Lily, Kentucky), Chelsea Brown will be at center field (Frankfort, Kentucky) and Taylor Short and Jerrica Young will hold down the corner outfield positions. The pitching staff includes Stambaugh (Jenkins, Kentucky) and Albury (Peru, Nebraska), among others. Fields will also provide relief on the mound.
Additional help will come from Brittany Dalton (Lovely. Kentucky), Chelsea Kitchen (Huntington, West Virginia), Kateland Blevins (Paintsville, Kentucky, Crilda Brown (Salyersville, Kentucky), and Kandy Thomas (Hindman, Kentucky).
The Lady Eagles kick off their season on March 21st when they travel to New Albany, Indiana to face Indiana University Southeast in a doubleheader beginning at 3 PM.