In Warrick County, it's never too early to talk about next year's softball season especially after two of the schools advance all the way to semi state. Let's look into our crystal ball and foresee a little of what the future might hold for the ladies on the diamond.
For Lady Knights coach Pat Lockyear, not many years, outside of going to state, can match the kind of season Castle had this year. The Lady Knights finished the season with a 29-3 record and was ranked third in the state. Castle would eventually lose to Center Grove in the semi state by the score of 1-0.
The Knights biggest loss from this year's team will be the loss of pitcher Sydney Wilson. The Marion commit had a 16-2 record with a 1.70 ERA and 120 strike outs. She also pitched two perfect games.
Despite the loss of Wilson, the Lady Knights will have a lot of fire power returning at the plate. Castle set a school record this year with 35 home runs. A majority of these home runs were hit by Evansville commits Jenna Lis and Hannah Hood. Castle's catcher and third basemen respectively hit a total of 21 home runs and each had a batting average of over .500.
"Lis and Hood should
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∏be better next year which is hard to believe," Lockyear said.
The Knights also return Oakland City commit Abbi Jaquess in center and lead off hitter Peyton Phillips in right. Hope Burkins will return as well playing second. Expect another solid season for the Lady Knights.
The Lady Pioneers had a respectable season under first year coach Alex Baumgart. Boonville finished the season with a 12-7 record. They would lose to Evansville Memorial in the sectionals.
Expect the Lady Pioneers to improve from this season.
Boonville only had one senior on the team in pitcher Caresse King. While the loss of King is significant, Baumgart has another pitcher in freshman Ariel Thomasson to take King's spot at the top of the rotation. In the Warrick Showcase, Thomasson would only give up four hits to a Tecumseh team that would advance all the way to the Class 2A semi state.
The Lady Pioneers should have their entire line up in tact for next season which would include lead off hitter Faith Wttman, second basemen Brooke Allen, and freshmen third basemen Randi Jo Pryor.
Coming into this season, it looked like the odds were stacked against the Lady Braves. Not only did they lost their entire infield from the 2017 Class A championship team, but they were also forced to compete against bigger schools as they moved up to Class 2A.
None of this seemed to phase coach Gordon Wood or his Lady Braves.
"We had a super season going 27-5," Wood said. "We won our first 2A sectional and regional."
Tecumseh would eventually lose to Speedway in semi state.
Like Castle and Boonville, Tecumseh will have to find a way to replace its pitching ace. For the Braves, that was Maddie Duncan. Duncan set the school record winning 22 games.
Tecumseh will also lose catcher Kristin Pride and left fielder Kristen Greenburg.
Returning for the Lady Braves is Regan Hight. As a freshman, Hight hit .476 with 35 RBIs and broke the school record with seven home runs.
Also returning is sophomore Cami Boylls who stole 35 of 35 bases this year. Freshmen Gracee Sullivan is also returning with her .359 average.
Tecumseh will still be young but will still be a force to be reckon with come next season.