Silver Knights Softball: Young But Experienced
Tyler Consolidated lost three top-notch players to graduation, but there are high expectations for a young 2018 girls softball team. The Knights lost their top two pitchers in Vanessa Templeton and Madison West, along with All-Valley Honorable Mention athlete Kylie Martin. Templeton and West were both first team All-State players.
This year, Coach Samantha Livingston will not have a senior on the team, but that doesn’t mean she won’t have talent or competitors.
“We lost three great players, and they will be hard to replace.
“It’s always hard when you lose good pitching, and they were also our top three hitters; however, I feel we have some kids who can step in and get the job done,” said Livingston. “Our goal this year will be to work hard, keep getting better, to not get down on ourselves, and of course, we want to have a winning record.”
Last season, Templeton ended her senior year hitting 0.567, with 51 hits, 28 RBI and led the valley with 21 doubles while adding a home run. She had a pitching record of 10-6 with a 1.25 ERA, while striking out 162 batters.
West was tops in the valley with 52 hits. She scored 36 runs, had 19 RBIs, 13 doubles, two triples and a home run. From the mound she was 9-2 with a 2.09 ERA and had 57 K’s. Martin had a 0.487 batting average and was a steady player in the field.
“We have three juniors on the squad this year, led by returning catcher JoLee Walton. We will look for her to be one of our leaders who can help the younger kids along,” Livingston said.
“She provided us with another good hitter last season 0.458, and we will need that from her once again. She will also be called on to work the mound and play in the field.”
Taylor Ebert will be another junior who will have to play multiple positions, including pitching. Junior Brianna Wade will also do some pitching while also manning second and third.
The sophomore class makes up the majority of the squad with seven players vying for playing time. Included among the class is Madison DeVaughn who was an All-Valley selection last year after collecting 38 hits with a 0.378 batting average.
Livingston is counting on her once again in the outfield, and she may see some time on the mound.
Rounding out the sophomore class will be Summer Miller who has a lot of potential and could provide a big lift for the Knights behind the plate when Walton is needed elsewhere. She will otherwise man third base. Ali Miller will hold likely hold down first base. Hannah Jackson (2B,OF), Shiann Jones (SS,OF), Breauna Anderson (OF), and Lexie Helmick (OF, 2B), will all be in the running for playing time.
Freshman on the roster include Maddie Ice (C, 3B), Sadi Nichols (OF, 2B), Haile Placer (OF), ans Regan Smith (2B, OF, 1B). Stan Dennis will be the Silver Knights assistant coach, after coaching the past few years at the middle school level.