MIDDLEBOURNE -- Based on a deep dugout filled with an experienced line-up with five seniors and five juniors, Tyler Consolidated girls' softball looks to be heading in the right direction this season.
The Silver Knights' bench is loaded with two ace pitchers and their starting catcher - all pros from last season. And remember a lot of these players are multi-sport athletes who are in prime shape after pounding the pavement for soccer, volleyball and/or basketball.
"We have some quality players returning and are excited to see where that takes us," Coach Samantha Livingston said. "If we can keep our bats going and get on bas we should do well. Our strong points will be our defense and our pitching. We are working hard trying to get ready and hopefully start the season on a winning note. Our goals this year will be to make the OVAC and LKC tournaments, win our sectional and go from there."
Pitching doesn't look to be a problem as seniors Madison West and Vanessa Templeton have experience at the mound and will try to shut down the opposition. Behind the plate will be sophomore JoLee Walton, who lettered as the Knights catcher as a freshman. Eleven lettermen return to form a formidable nucleus for Coach Smantha Livingston to work with. Templeton can play multible positions while West will be in left field when not pitching.
Kylie Martin is back to hold down short stop and Julianna Miller, a junior, is back at second.
The Knights should be solid all the way around on defense with letterman back in every position and several versitile players who can be shuffled around as the need arises. Seniors Peyton Clem will see time at second, third and right field, while Martin will man short stop the majority of the time. Another senior Rhianna Long will fill in at third and right field.
Juniors Kenna Smith will spend time in center and fill in at short stop while Madison Lasick will return to first base. Miller will be at second along with Joralda Rice at third and left field. Autumn Wells will be counted on to cover gound in left and right field.Another sophomore, Brianna Wade, a varsity letter athlete, will man positions in the infield at third and second.
Others vying for playing time will be sophomores Taylor Ebert and Alaina Thompson along with freshman newcomers Hannah Jackson, Madison DeVaughn, Summer Miller, Ali Miller and Shiann Jones.
TCHS's talented team is led by Coach Livingston and Assistant Coach Bobby West.
The Silver Knights will kick off their season on Saturday at home hosting a double-header against Ravenswood.