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Ingleby, good sticks highlight ’08 FHS softball

Good sticks plus an All-state staff ace are two strengths for the defending District 4-AAA league champion Farragut High School softball team.

“Last year we were a good hitting team; I think we’ll be a good hitting team again,” said FHS head coach David Moore, entering his 18th season as Lady Ad skipper.

“I think we’ll be solid defensively, and I think Rachel [Ingleby] will give us good, strong pitching,” Moore said about his senior ace. “I’ve just got to be careful not to over-pitch her so we’ve got her fresh for [post-season].”

Ingleby, 2007 District 4-AAA Player of the Year, also earned Class AAA All-state honors. She finished with a 24-9 record, including five no-hitters and 14 shutouts with a 1.16 earned run average. She recorded 234 strikeouts in 198 innings.

“The key in fast-pitch softball is having solid pitching, and Rachel’s a good one and we’re expecting a big year out of her,” Moore said. “She has good command of her pitches, throws hard, and is also a good hitter [.364 average]. She’ll probably be our clean-up hitter, too.”

Moore said his Lady Ads “should be one of the favorites” in District 4-AAA, adding that Maryville, William Blount and Heritage “are probably the top four teams in the district.”

Senior catcher Abby Rose Martin returns to complete an experienced battery.

“She’s solid, very good defensive player ... handles Rachel real well, and I don’t think she had many pass balls or errors last year,” Moore said about his 2007 lead-off hitter. “She’s a good contact hitter (.293). “We’re look for her leadership.”

Senior Keri Meade “will more than likely be our starting third baseman, she was our best defensive player last year,” Moore said. “She’s one of those when balls are hit her way you don’t worry about ’em.

“Offensively she has power,” the coach added, as Meade hit .308 with 15 RBIs last season.

In the outfield, senior Lyndsey Slade returns “and will probably start in left field,” Moore said. “She’s solid, strong arm defensively. Makes the plays she’s supposed to.”

Offensively, “She’s a strong hitter, she was one of our leaders in R-B-Is last year [19],” Moore added about Slade. “She’s been hitting the ball well in preseason.”

Elsewhere in the infield, 5-foot-11 sophomore Stephanie Harris is the choice at first base. She started by the end of the 2007 season and hit .354.

“Stephanie’s a legitimate Division One prospect because of her size,” Moore said. “She’s got power and speed and handles herself well. As a freshman she had three home runs and had 21 R-B-Is.”

Harris also will back-up Martin at catcher.

Junior Morgan Holbrook, an All-District honor who led FHS in hitting (.378 average) and RBIs (34) in 2007 as a starting second baseman, will return to second base or start at shortstop.

“A solid hitter, very good defensive player at second,” Moore said. “She’s also going to have to pitch a little bit for us this year, which she can do.”

Freshman Andi Murry, who comes to FHS from California, could be the starting shortstop.

Mostly an outfielder until recently, “We’re trying to get her comfortable at shortstop,” Moore said of Murry.

Megan Harris, a freshman and younger sister of Stephanie, “will battle for second base and some playing time at first,” Moore said. “As well as sophomore Amanda Tranum.”

Sopho-more Allison Devaney also will pitch, Moore said.

Positions in center field and right field remained wide open as of press deadline.

Among those in the mix is junior LaShae Wallace, “who is very fast,” the FHS skipper said. Wallace stole 21 bases last season as a pinch-runner and scored 33 times.

Junior Melissa Eggert “has a very strong arm, a hard worker,” Moore said. Also a pinch-runner in 2007, Eggert scored 29 runs with six stolen bases.

Laura Greeley, a junior, also is in the outfielder mix. Whoever doesn’t start in the outfield could be designated hitter, the coach said.

“Four outfielders are probably going to play,” Moore said. “We’ll just have to see who’s hitting and who does the best job defensively there.”

Moore said one of his biggest concerns is “outfield speed ... we’re used to having pretty quick outfielders.” Wallace is the lone exception, the coach added.

“But I think we’ll be solid.”

On the infield, “How we fill the shortstop job will be a big key, too,” Moore said.

Moore has led three Lady Admiral teams to the state tournament, the last in 2005.

Last year’s team failed to advance out of the district tournament and finished 33-9.

Other Lady Admirals looking to contribute are Paige Kula, Samantha Watson, Madison Gray, Cassaundra Hopelite and Chelsea Sutphin.

Assisting Moore are coaches Nick Green, former Lady Admiral standout center fielder Dani Spetar and Ray Watson.


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