By Thomas Sellers Jr.
As of last year if you wore a Munford Lady Cougar Softball uniform, you have always ended your season at the Class 3A Softball State Tournament in Murfreesboro.
The Class of 2014 graduated going to State four straight years. Now the returning players and newcomers to Head Coach Glenn Goulder’s squad want to keep the streak going.
Munford heads to field in 2015 with the trio of seniors Maddison Welch, Taylor Hobson and Tori Ray. Welch will be the shortstop and bat third in the lineup. Hobson will be a dependable glove at first base and bat in the middle of the order.
Ray is moving from the infield to utilize her a speed and laser arm. When she’s not in centerfield Ray will bat second behind newcomer Kelsey Frizzell. The freshman Frizzell will play aside Welch in the infield at second base.
“One thing I can say we’ll have this year is speed,” Goulder noted. “We have a lot more speed than in years past.”
Goulder will get some speed for his underclassmen. The Lady Cougar program features 11 sophomores and freshmen. The junior class will be counted on for leadership on and off the field with players like McKenzie Pugh, Peyton Joyner and Sam Scott. Scott won 22 games last year for the Lady Cougars.
“As Sam goes we go,” Goulder said. “She is a solid pitcher and will be one of our four this year we’ll count on.”
Ray will log some innings this year after going 8-5 last season. Hannah Walker is a junk pitcher will give opposing lineups problems. The fourth pitcher will be freshman and McKenzie’s little sister McKalla. The younger Pugh will also see time at catcher and third base.
“She has some work to do as far as pitching,” Goulder acknowledged. “But she’s a natural athlete. She’s a real athlete. One of the best I’ve seen come around her.”
McKalla will bat in the middle of the lineup behind Joyner and Scott. Joyner hit clean-up last year coming up with big hits during the postseason.
Other key bats in the Munford order will be Amber Alverson, McKenzie Pugh and Hobson. From lead-off to the ninth hitter, the Lady Cougars will need to create enough offense to compete with District 13-3A foes Brighton, Dyer County and Hardin County.
Brighton won last year’s regular season crown and Goulder noted them as the team to beat. Dyer County lost its stud pitcher to The University of Memphis but returns an established group. And Hardin County features solid pitching.
“I’ve talked to coaches and we’ve all had the same issues with the field being too wet,” Goulder concluded. “So we’re all far behind. But how fast we gel has a defense will determine our success. I think in the other phases of the game we’ll be OK.”