Lexington fast-pitch softball head coach Kayla Stewart is looking forward to this season.
The Lady ‘Dawgs bring back nearly all of last year’s team and have stout senior leadership. Barring injuries and rainouts like a year ago, this year’s squad is looking like a great bet to make the State tournament.
“We bring back the bulk of our team,” said Stewart, who is entering her third year at the helm.
“We have nine seniors and that’s a lot of leadership. We have some good juniors, sophomores, and freshmen who are going to help us out. We just have some good kids who are going to play key roles for us this year.”
Among the seniors are Amanda Graddy, Lauren Beason, Hannah Robbins, Kenzie Lawson, Lindsey Barber, Emilee Jenks, Kaylee Fink, Anna Sample and Morgan Clark.
The juniors include Jaci Idlett, Madeline Pack, Sierra Petit, and Harley Salisbury. Sophomores include Ryli Harmon, Isela Ruiz, Madalyn Dunn, Abby Turnpaugh, and Promise Houck. Freshmen Izzy Pack, Nakyia Timmons, Leslie Barber, Cora Vazquez, Madison Manuel and Elexa Collins are joining the team.
“We’re hopefully going to stay away from the injury bug this year,” Stewart said.
“If we can stay away from injuries, we should be okay to go and compete with the best.”
Last year, Lexington relied on Fink’s arm and the departed senior Bri Webster inside the circle. They have more firepower from within the circle this year.
“We bring some more arms into the circle this year,” Stewart said.
“That’s great and it doesn’t leave it all on Fink’s arm. We have Abby Turnpaugh and Lauren Beason. We also have two freshmen in Cora Vazquez and Izzy Pack. They should help us out.”
Stewart and assistant coach Ryan Perry are both excited for this year’s team. They have a lot coming back and seem poised to improve upon last year’s 9-14 record. Lex lost to Kingston and Perry in Regional play a year ago.
“We bring some great competitive players who are going to help us out pinch-hitting and running bases,” Stewart said.
“We had a bunch of teams come to our festival last week and that provided us a good test. We have a scrimmage at Chandler today and I think we could be really good this year if things go right for us.”
Stewart, out in the spring on maternity leave is excited for the impending season and hopes her team culminates their schedule with a State tourney berth.