SPRING SPORTS PREVIEW: Six returning starters raise expectations for DHS softball team
Danville’s Lady Hawks have set their sights on getting a shot at a Class 4A state softball championship in 2015 after compiling a 21-16 record, winning their area tournament and winning two games in the regional tournament in 2014.
Danville defeated Sipsey Valley 9-0 and Cordova 4-2 in regional play before losing their next two games. Three members of that team graduated while seven are back.
Graduating seniors were Hannah Grace Sherrill, Sloan Lindsey and Crystal Carter.
Second baseman/shortstop Sherrill batted .250 and signed a scholarship with Gadsden State Community College. Lindsey, an outfielder, was team captain and batted .286. Carter played in the outfield.
Returning varsity players are seniors Kellee Stiles, Savannah Bolton, Chelsee Hill and Brittney Linderman; juniors Kristen Dobbins and Lara Fagan; sophomore Morgan Weatherwax; and freshman Callie Ryan.
Varsity newcomers are juniors Abby Young and Kaitlin Kelsoe, sophomore Danielle Roof and freshman Hannah Bates.
Catcher Stiles and pitcher Bolton recently signed scholarships with Snead State Community College and Wallace State Community College, respectively. In 2014, Stiles led the team in hitting with a .366 average, and Bolton led the team in pitching with a .793 ERA. Ryan batted .316, Hill batted .317 and Weatherwax led the team in scoring with 31 runs.
“I have high expectation sfor this team,” said Danville head softball coach Savannah Chenault. “Their leadership, focus and hard work stand out anytime they are together practicing.”
“Several of the girls played travel ball last summer and participated in a summer camp at Wallace State Community College,” she pointed out.
Chenault said experience and strong work habits are team strengths.
“After last season, the players returning said they want to improve as a team, motivating each other and keeping their heads up when adversity occurs,” she added.
Chenault said the biggest challenge the Lady Hawks face is improving their hitting, putting the ball in play when it counts.
Working with Chenault as assistant coaches are Mallory George and Troy Wilkerson.
The Lady Hawks opened their season against Curry at home Feb. 19.
2015 Danville Varsity Softball
Feb. 19 Curry 5 p.m.
Feb. 23 At Vinemont 5 p.m.
Feb. 24 West Point 4:30 p.m.
Feb. 26 Lawrence 5 p.m.
March 2 At Priceville 5 p.m.
March 3 W. Morgan 5 p.m.
March 5 At West Point 4:30 p.m.
March 6-7 WSCC Varsity Tournament TBA
March 10 DHCA 4:30 p.m.
March 13-14 Hartselle Varsity Tournament TBA
March 17 At Hamilton 5 p.m.
March 19 Haleyville 5 p.m.
March 30 At E. Lawrence 5 p.m.
April 2 At West Morgan 5 p.m.
April 3-4 Bob Jones Varsity Tournament TBA
April 6 Hamilton 5 p.m.
April 9-11 Morgan County Tournament TBA
April 13 At DHCA (Wilson Morgan) 5 p.m.
April 14 Falkville 2 p.m.
April 16 At Haleyville away 5 p.m.
April 20 Falkville 1:30 p.m.
April 21 Priceville 5 p.m.
April 27-30 Area Tournament TBA