Lady Wildcats looking for speed to give boost offensively
First-year Kemper County High School fast-pitch softball coach Freddy Thomas doesn’t have to think long to come up with his team’s strengths. “Pitching and overall team speed,” he said. “That’ 's what we will be relying on.”
Senior Neera Bell and junior Rodezah Smith will get most of the work in the circle for the Lady Wildcats this season. Thomas hopes that his squad’s speed will help them overcome their inexperience and put up some runs for his talented pitchers to work with.
“If we can just put the ball in play on the ground, we are going to get some people on base,” he said. “It’s going to take a really good play to get us out.”
Thomas said he hasn’t had the time to develop any slap-hitters yet and has one girl who has the potential to be an effective bunter.
‘We are still working on the overall fundamentals and just trying to learn to put the ball in play consistently,” he said. KCHS opened the season against Nanih Waiya in a region game on Tuesday and was set to travel to West Lowndes Today (Thursday).
Other region foes for the Lady Wildcats other than NW are Newton, Choctaw County, and Philadelphia.
Going into the season Thomas was planing to use Kamri Tate behind the plate for the most part, but noted that he was developing some depth in order to be able to use Tate at other positions as well.
Thomas said he was looking to use a platoon situation at first base with time behind shared by Beverly Billy, Trinity Westerfield, and Ka’terika Powe, while Kyla Grace was slated to play second base.
Sydnee Huggins is at short with Rodezah Smith at third. Mariah Nash was set to begin the season in right field with R’dashia Naylor in center and Kenadria Butler in left. Others looking to see time in the outfield are Rotagun Hopson, Zariyah Moss, Billy and Tate.
Powe provides the Lady Wildcats with a strong left-handed bat, while Thomas said Bell has really been “smoking the ball” in the preseason.
“Our infield looks really good and I’m pleased with the effort and the hustle in the outfield,” Thomas said. ‘Neera Bell and Kamri Tate are the quarterbacks for this team and are the leaders,’ he said. ‘And the other girls are doing a good job of listening and learning.’