Paden City Softball Returns Experience
Last year Paden City’s softball was on the short end of a 10-21 season; however, Coach Chris Neff is optimistic about the Wildcats’ chances for success in 2018. Five seniors were lost to graduation, but only two were starters – Madaline Cox, a four-year starter at catcher and Shelby Gatian, who started in left field. Neff feels he has the adequate personnel to fill those spots, and with 10 returning lettermen, he feels there is a team who can achieve its goals.
As always, the Wildcat softball team will look to make the OVAC tournament, win the sectional tournament, and make some noise from there. With 17 girls on the roster, 13 upperclassmen, this will be Paden City’s most experienced team in several years. This is Coach Neff’s third year as head coach, his sixth year total. he, along with third-year assistant coach, Heather Riggle, hope to bring some excitement to the Wildcats’ softball fans.
The Wildcats will be deep on the mound with Aubrey Neff, Hannah Loy, and Caitlin Stewart.
Hitting should also be a strong point. The plate will be shared between juniors Ashlyn Moses and Madison Knight, with sophomore Cora Anderson also in the running.
Neff, a senior, will play third base when not on the mound. Last year, she was named to the OVAC Honorable Mention list and was a WV Class A Special Honorable Mention player. Her batting percentage was 0.324. She had 24 hits, 24 walks, 27 runs scored, 15 RBIs, four triples, four doubles, and two HRs.
Loy, a junior, will also bring solid hitting and field play to the game. As a junior, she received recognition as OVAC Honorable Mention and WV Class A Honorable Mention. She had a 0.384 batting average, 38 hits, 30 runs, four doubles, and 10 steals.
Ferrebee, a senior, was also a WV Class A Honorable Mention player. She hit at 0.271, had 19 hits, 20 RBIs, plus five doubles.mention player who hit at 0.295, with 26 hits and 19 RBI’s, including five doubles.
“Our 2018 expectations are high as we hope to use the experience we have at most positions,” said Coach Neff.
“We lost several close games last year, and hopefully having an older team will make the difference. We can turn more of those close games into wins,”
“No matter what, we will compete hard and continue to build depth at key positions. Replacing Madaline and Shelby will be a challenge. Madaline was solid behind the plate, in the field, and at bat. Shelby played hard-nosef defense and worked as hard as anyone on the field.”
This season the infield will be shared by several players; first base will be handled by three-year starter Delainey Lantz. Among her backups will be junior Hope Cooper, who will also play a lot of DP as well. Third base will be split between Neff freshman Erin McIntrye, Loy, and Cooper. Second base’s Katrina Heasley returns as a three-year starter. Among her backups is freshman Emma Brown.
The outfield will be anchored by returning seniors Ferrebee and Jenna Arnett. Others helping in the outfield are seniors Stewart, Bre Henthorn, and Angelina Straight, as well as juniors Knight and Kierra Daugherty. The Wildcats will open the season on March 16 at home against Ritchie County in a 5 p.m. contest. They will travel to Cameron on March 17 for a double header, starting at noon.
This year’s line up includes seven seniors, six juniors, one sophomore and three freshmen: Seniors are Aubrey Neff, Katrina Heasley, Jenna Ferrebee, Caitlin Stewart, Bre Henthorn, Jenna Arnett, Angelina Straight; juniors are Hannah Loy, Ashlyn Moses, Hope Cooper, Delainey Lantz, Madison Knight, Kierra Daugherty; sophomore is Cora Anderson, and freshman are Erin McIntyre, Emma Brown, and Kelsey Michael