By Austin Bishop
Winston County Journal
Replacing four seniors won’t be an easy task for the Lady Tigers of Noxapater High School, but slow-pitch head coach Jodi Duran says her team
is up to the task.
“My main concern is losing those four seniors,” Duran said. “We have four spots to fill and we are filling them with young kids. It is going to take a little time to get the kinks out.”
Game one of the Kosciusko Jamboree showed signs of that, as the Lady Tigers gave up a big inning to fall to Kosciusko 21-1. But Noxapater then rebounded to take a 7-6 win over Ethel later in the day.
“In game one we played like a team that had never played softball before,” Duran said. “But in the second game we got it together and things kind of came around.”
Duran does have six starters returning off last year’s squad, but noted that some of them will be playing in unfamiliar positions. “We had to move them around a little bit, but we have some girls who are pretty versatile,” she said.
Duran said her Lady Tigers will likely be more of a base-hitting team than a power club this year, and will look to run the bases with some aggression.
Brianna Barnett is the pitcher for Noxapater this season, while Deanna Sangster and eighth-grader Raleigh Parker will share time behind the plate. Transfer Faith Harrington is at first base, with Kierra Phillips splitting time between second base and shortstop. Olivia McDonald will see time at second, while Tiffany Hornesbuger will play some short and some left field. Madelyn Wilkes rounds out the infield at third base.
Sangster will also play some left field, while lead-off hitter Treasure Lynch is in left-center, Kayla Thompson in right-center, and Kyria Carter in right.
Sangster smashed a double and scored Noxapater’s only run in the jamboree game against Kosciusko on Saturday, while Lynch, Wilkes and Hornesbuger all had singles.
Lynch banged out a triple and single in the win over Ethel, while Phillips, Wilkes, Harrington, Hornesbuger, Parker and Carter each picked up a hit.
The season begins for real this Saturday as Noxapater plays host to the Winston County Classic. Noxapater opens the day by taking on Louisville at 9 a.m. and then battles Nanih Waiya at 10:30 a.m.
The Lady Tigers will host French Camp on Monday, before entertaining MHSAA Class 2A power East Webster on Thursday, Aug. 21.