Softball: Lady Warriors are older and hungrier for wins

Softball: Lady Warriors are older and hungrier for wins

by Vivian Nichols

The Lady Warrior softball team didn’t have much to hang its helmet on after a rash of injuries sabotaged the season last year. But there is optimism for 2016.

Second-year head coach Alex Smith said this year’s roster, though lacking in depth, is chock full of talented players who are a year older, healthier and eager to use last year’s struggles as fuel when they take on Ursuline Academy in the district opener on Feb. 26.

“This is a rebuilding year, but I absolutely think we can be competitive if we stay healthy,” said Smith, whose team finished sixth last year before bowing out in the first round of the playoffs. “We have select-level players, and we have the luxury of having three pitchers. That’s not something many teams can say.”

That pitching trio is led by senior Morgan Morris. Morris was the Lady Warriors’ starting pitcher last year and is expected to shoulder a heavier load in her final season. She will also have help from sophomore Karson Carter and freshman Gracie Arthur.

Smith also pointed to returning catcher, Peyton Wohnoutka, and utility player, Sydney Carter.

“I feel like I can put Sydney anywhere on the field, and she also hits for power at the plate,” Smith said. “Having an experienced catcher back also helps. This is a tough group, and to me, they are all technically starters after last year.”

The only thing standing in the Lady Warriors’ way is the dreaded injury bug.

There is never a good time for any team to deal with injuries, but it seemed like last year was one of those seasons where no one could stay healthy, Smith said. Sydney and Karson dealt with injuries, and late in the year, it was like the entire team hobbled into the postseason.

That can’t happen against another solid district slate this year. The eight-team district still includes Bishop Lynch, Plano Prestonwood, Bishop Dunne, Trinity Christian, Plano John Paul II, Ursuline and Nolan.

“The injuries were pretty extensive by the end of last season, so we are praying for a healthy season,” Smith said. “There is a lot of promise for the next few years.”

In other softball news, Smith said she is trying to start a select softball team for middle school players. The new program will be separate from Liberty Christian, yet made up entirely of Liberty Christian students. For more information, contact coach Smith at alex.smith@libertychristian.com.


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