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Morris, pitching staff key cogs to successful

Seven of nine starters return for the Farragut Lady Admirals softball team, led by what head coach David Moore said is a “strong and deep pitching staff.”

“I feel pretty good about this group, we’ll be in the mix in our district,” Moore said, adding that Heritage is the District 4-AAA favorite. “I think we’re going to hit the ball a little better. A little bit more power. Maybe not as much speed as we’ve had.”

Moore said his pitching staff is Farragut’s key to success. Led by three-year staff ace Margaret Morris, Moore said she is one of the two best pitchers he’s coached at FHS, joining All-state honoree Leah Seffernick. (1996-99).

“I’ve compared Margaret a lot to Leah Seffernick, they’re real similar in their strengths,” Moore said. “Outstanding control, they can control several pitches. And they’re both outstanding competitors.”

Sophomore Rachel Ingelby, who gained vital experience last season according to Moore, “is also going to be a good one” as the team’s No. 2 pitcher.

Depth will be provided by junior Kim Wright, senior Cayla Smith and sophomore Kristin Murr.

As for defense, “I think we’re going to be in good shape there, too,” Moore said, adding that success in 2006 could be “just a matter of timely hitting.”

A three-year starter at third base, senior Jessie Howard adds speed at the top of the batting order with the ability to reach base on bunts and slap hits.

“Jessie’s got a chance to have an outstanding season,” Moore said. “Great speed. I’m looking for Jessie to have a great year.”

Returning shortstop Sarah Young, a junior, “has done a good job in preseason and to start the year this year,” Moore said. “And she’s hitting the ball pretty well, too.”

Moore calls senior first baseman Lauren Briody and junior second baseman Rachel Mountain “solid defensive players for us.” Briody has apparently recovered from a broken wrist.

Sophomore Abby Rose Martin will replace 2006 graduate Stephanie Dueber at catcher “a majority of the time,” Moore said.

Junior Sara Rini also will see time at catcher and also play in the outfield.

In the outfield, Smith returns in left. “She’s off to a great start,” Moore said of Smith’s 3-of-3 hitting effort in an opening-season victory at Morristown East. “Look for her to be somebody to drive in a lot of runs and get a lot of key hits.”

Junior Christine Hannahs, a designated hitter last season, and senior Haley Lewis could alternate in centerfield and right-field.

One of the two will replace centerfield graduate Amy Josephson.

Moore said sophomore Keri Meade “swings the bat pretty well,” and is capable of playing “a little bit of everywhere. She’s going to be in the lineup most every game, somewhere, probably.”

Howard as the lead-off hitter is the only certain batting order spot according to Moore. Morris is among those certain to bat high in the lineup.

Jessie Lane, Laura Beach, Kayla Clifton and Lyndsey Slade also look to contribute.

Assistant coaches are Ray Watson and Benny Lyle.


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