Categorized | Sports

Lady Cougars still have some fire power

By Thomas Sellers Jr.Card Maddison Welch

The 2013 season was a case of “Good News” and “Bad News” for the Munford Lady Cougars.
The “Bad News” was injuries to players like Sami Jo Schulz and Jodie Duncan shook up the lineup. The “Good News” emerged with young players like Sam Scott, Peyton Joyner and Tori Ray stepping up in their absence to help the Lady Cougars reach the State Tournament for a third straight season.
Now veteran coach Glenn Goulder enters the 2014 season with the departure of six seniors. But the talent coming back is young and proven.
“We don’t have nearly as many returning players as we did in the past,” he acknowledged. “We’re going to have a lot of fun figuring out who can play where. We have some talent but we lost a lot. We lost six starters and they’re going to be hard to replace. But the young girls are working hard. I’m really looking forward to the season.”
Despite reaching State in 2013, the Lady Cougars didn’t win the District 13-3A Tournament title. Goulder said with quality teams like Hardin County, Brighton and Dyer County, Munford’s pitching will have to be on point to return to the very top of the league.
“I really think Hardin County, who won the districts last year and only lost one starter, I would have to put them at the top,” he said. “They’re going to be really, really tough.
“We’re going to rely a whole lot on pitching,” Goulder added. “If we have a strong point, that’s it. We’ll have Sam Scott who will probably do a majority of the pitching. Then we’ll have Lindsey Owen who was throwing real well toward the end of last season too.”
Graduating Alex Stanford and Tara Comer meant the departure of most of the inning logged last season. Scott enters her sophomore year as a pitcher known for putting movement on the ball. Owen is a tall power pitcher in the circle.
Munford’s batting order graduated some impressive sluggers like Alex Turner, Maggie Johnson, Jessyca Baker and Alex Stanford.
“Sami Jo only played five games because of injury last year,” Goulder noted. “Then Jodie got hurt. Christina Cantrell got hurt and we lost our catcher.
“It ended up being a real challenge for us at the end of the season,” he continued. “But it gave some young ones some valuable playing time. Some of them ended up playing at the State Tournament. We kind of got an idea of how we’ll have it this year.”
Players to emerge as statistical leaders last year and expected to contribute in 2014 are Maggie Welch, Tori Ray and the returning Duncan.
Welch is slotted for the leadoff spot. Ray will bat second.
Goulder is hoping the duo will set up RBI opportunities for the UT-Martin signee Duncan. Scott will most likely bat fourth and players like McKenzie Pugh, Courtney Bonaiuto, Haley Whitney, Owen and Cantrell will be featured in the lower part of the lineup.
The Lady Cougars are young but have a winning pedigree. Goulder said one of his jobs will be to manage their winning mindsets through a tough schedule in 2014.
“That’s a double-edge sword,” he acknowledged. “It’s great to have expectations like that as long as you keep a level head and don’t let the losses bother you too much.
“We’re going to have a few losses this year,” Goulder concluded. “It’s going to be a real tough schedule. And some of the teams have gotten a whole lot better like Collierville and Brighton. We go to Murfreesboro and play those teams up there. We just can’t let a loss beat us. We have to shake it off and get ready for the next game.”

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March 2014
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