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softball preview: HVA seeks big wins from small numbers
Fredieu encouraged about new program

A new program with only 15 varsity players, and most of those sophomores and freshmen, Hardin Valley Academy girls softball team already has made some noise in 2009.

Despite being “predominantly a freshman team,” HVA head coach Michael Fredieu’s team won its first three games (see related story below). “We have some really good, skilled athletes out there. A lot of girls that know the game.”

Ace pitcher Laura Hensley, a sophomore, “has good speed, she keeps herself composed,” Fredieu said.

Sophomore shortstop Liz Dobbins “has a big bat. She runs the bases exceptionally well.”

Fredieu labels junior center fielder Lana Shaw “our speed demon” who is a huge stolen base threat.

Other infield starters are catcher McCall Beckler, a freshman who also backs up Hensley on the mound, freshman first baseman Kristin Eubanks, second baseman Emily Cox, a sophomore, and junior third baseman Michelle Owens.

Junior Taylor Seagle starts in left field, while right field is a three-way battle between freshmen Chelsea Corral, Courtney Fraker and Ashley Lee.

Other Lady Hawks looking to contribute are juniors Katie Beck and Elizabeth Gray and freshmen Ebone Kennedy and Kori Jackson.

“Right now the biggest strength of this team is [because] we’re a small team, there is unity,” Fredieu said. “It’s a first-year program, so we’re definitely wanting to go out and prove ourselves to everybody because nobody knows who we are. We don’t want to be a team that’s taken lightly.”

Being small also has its downside. “The biggest concern for us is not have back-ups if somebody gets injured,” Fredieu said.

As for Fredieu’s help, “I’ve got a great assistant coach, Whitney Hickam … she has been a huge asset to the program,” he said.


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