The coming softball season looks to be one which could be full of surprises and success for the Lady Knights of Tyler Consolidated High School.
With only two seniors lost to graduation last year, Christy Jones and Stephana Wilcox, the Lady Knights are poised to make some noise, returning 11 with experience.
"Several players also gained some valuable game experience over the summer playing in the Wheeling Recreational High School League," said head coach, Charlene Galluzzo. "As a result, we are way ahead of previous years in terms of executing fundamentals of the game."
Retuning with experience to the team are four seniors: Heather Suter who was second team All-State Class AA; second team LKC - infield; and OVAC; and honorable mention All-Valley last season, and will start for the Silver in the shortstop position and also rotate on the pitching staff as well as see time in the outfield; Amanda Goodfellow, starting at first base and filling slots as a utility player; Mallory Hammond, starting in the outfield and seeing time at second base; Emily Moore, starting at 3rd and taking her turn at first, in the outfield and in the pitching rotation.
Juniors returning include Keri Suter, starting at 2nd base, and seeing time as a pitcher and in the outfield; and Jennifer Yost starting in the outfield.
Five sophomores return with good game experience: Torrye Cline, pitcher, shortstop; Taylor Clem, outfield, utility; Tori Hizer, outfield; Martina Parrish, outfield; and Tayler Vossen, 3rd base and outfield.
Joining the mix on the team this season will be eight freshmen: Alex Bubenchik, catcher, short stop, 2nd base; Megan Carpenter, outfield, 3rd base; Myah Charkawi, outfield, catcher, short stop, 2nd base; Devinn Moore, pitcher, 1st base; Jasmine Moore, pitcher, 2nd base; Bailey Smith, outfield; Shandi Long, outfield; and Kali Mead, outfield.
The Lady Knight coaching staff, as well as the players themselves are very proud of the fact that six of their players were named to the NFCA High School Academic All-American Team in October for carrying a grade point average of 3.5 or higher for the 2010 season. The entire team had a GPA of 3.426.
Tyler Consolidated finished the 2010 season with a 7-20 win/loss record and were the Class AA Region I - Section II runners-up to Magnolia.
Galluzzo will be assisted this season by Tomlin Paden and Roger Smith.
"Our starting team will have a nice mix of experience and young freshmen talent," the coach said. "But I suspect several players will get opportunities to crack the starting line-up."
"We are very athletic this year with a great deal of team speed."
"As usual, our schedule will be very challenging in both the LKC and OVAC conferences to which we belong. We open up with a strong St. Marys team that played in Class A WV State finals and will be challenged by talented Magnolia, River and Ritchie County High School squads."
Galluzzo said she is looking forward to seeing the progress of the team over the course of the season. "We are focused on getting a bit stronger each time we take the field."
The Lady Knights were supposed to begin their season of competition on March 21 at St. Marys and were scheduled to host Williamstown on Tuesday. Later in the week the Knights are scheduled to play at Magnolia on March 24 and will be hosting Wheeling Central in a double header on Saturday.