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softball preview: Lots of sticks, but mound questions loom for Moore

It could be Christmas-like coloring when watching Farragut softball 2009: red-hot bats flavored with green pitching.

“We’ve got some good returning hitters,” FHS head coach David Moore said. “We’re going to have to hit and score more runs, loosing Rachel [Ingleby, ace pitcher].”

Ingleby, an All-state pitcher, helped lead the 2008 Lady Admirals to District 4-AAA and Region 2-AAA titles culminating in a third-place TSSAA state finish.

However, “I’d put our three-four-five hitters [in batting order] up against anybody’s in town,” Moore said. That “murders row” is junior first baseman Stephanie Harris at No. 3, her younger sister, sophomore second baseman Megan Harris No. 4, and senior third baseman Morgan Holbrook, a Milligan College signee, at No. 5.

“I have great confidence in Megan hitting-wise,” Moore said. “Defensively, she’s turned into a pretty good second baseman.”

Holbrook, moving from second to third, “is the type we can plug in anywhere and do a good job for us,” the FHS skipper said.

Moore, who begins his 19th seasons as Farragut head coach, said his 2009 hitters “potentially, I think, it could be as good an offensive team as we’ve had. Just because we’ve got a good combination of speed and power. We’ve generally got four or five kids that can hit the ball out of the ballpark.”

Sophomore Andrea Murry returns as starting shortstop while junior Paige Kula is starting catcher. “Paige is doing a solid job for us,” Moore said. Sophomore Chelsea Sutphin is back-up catcher who also is a courtesy runner and possible outfielder.

Senior Lashae Wallace, a part-time starting center fielder last season, has won the job outright in 2009. Senior Melissa Eggert has moved from center to right field, while sophomore Madison Gray starts in left field. Moore said Wallace and Gray provide much-needed speed in the outfield and on the base paths. “They can made things happen,” the coach added. “Andrea Murry has got good speed, Stephanie Harris has good speed.” Designated player (hitter) will fall to either freshman pitcher Kaci Murr or junior outfielder Samantha Watson.

Three of Farragut’s top five pitchers are freshmen. “It’s probably the least experienced group we’ve had in a while,” Moore said, adding the staff ace may “be by committee. We’re not going to be overpowering, gonna have to keep it around the plate.”

Allison Delaney, a junior, is among those expected to compete for the ace role. Murr is vying for No. 2 pitcher, while Holbrook is No. 3. Julie Alves, another freshman, “we think is going to be a good one for us, too.”

Also in the pitching mix is still another freshman, Heather Buchanan.

Defensively, “I think we’re solid,” Moore said.

However, because FHS pitching is likely to produce fewer strikeouts, “when you have to make an extra six or eight plays defensively in a game … I’d almost guarantee we’ll make more errors than last year just because we’re going to have more chances.”

Freshman Brittany Gray will serve as a courtesy runner and may play some second base. Freshman Claire Berman could see time either in the outfield or first base.

The bottom line. “We’re going to have to out-score some folks,” Moore said. “Potentially we can do that.”

Assist coach is Nick Green. Scorekeeper and former FHS coach is Ray Watson.


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