by: Kirk McCarty
The team goal this year: win a state championship. Halfway through the regular season, the Lady Warrior softball team sits at 12-2. Due to Mother Nature’s wrath, the Warriors have had five games rained out and have played three district games so far this season, those being dominating wins over Meridian, Petal, and Hattiesburg.
This year’s Warrior team is led by a very talented group of seniors. Kelsea Lewis and Heather Boutwell have both been starting since their eighth grade years and are committed to continuing their softball careers at Pearl River Community College, while other senior starters include 2nd basemen Aston Vincent and pitcher Stefani Cayten.
The pitching staff has had to really step up early in the season due to the loss of ace Mahalia Gibson who was forced to have surgery on her throwing hand pinky. Peyton Sheffield and Stefani Cayten have definitely done just that for the Warriors. Sheffield has logged 37 innings already this season with an impressive 1.14 ERA (earned run average). Cayten is right behind her with 27 innings and a 1.30 ERA.
The Warriors have been a force at the plate as well posting a team batting average of .375. Kelsea Lewis leads the team with an average of .484 followed by Constance Quinn and Carly Crawford who are hitting .458 and .457, respectively.
Great stats are, well, great, but what really sets apart this team is their attitude and mindset to win games. “Our team has a lot of heart, and when we get down, we spring right back up,” said senior first baseman Heather Boutwell. “We all have the same mindset to win.”
The Warriors will really find out what they’re made of in the next couple of weeks when district play really heats up. Oak Grove will take on HHS, Petal, and Meridian one more time before the season’s end. Senior night and the game many fans will attend with cowbells in hand, takes place at Warrior field on April 17 against the one and only Petal Panthers. Come support the Warriors on their quest for a ring this season.