Friday, February 28, 2014
The good news for Swamp Fox fans is the Ashley Ridge softball team has 13 players returning with varsity experience.
With so many players returning from a team that finished 18-11 in 2013 after losing the District V championship game in the playoffs, things are looking good for Ashley Ridge. However, they aren’t looking as good as they did earlier in the year.
The bad news is Aubrey Rabon, who has been the team’s starting catcher and one of its top hitters the past several seasons, will not be able to play. Rabon, who has signed with the University of South Carolina Softball Team, is recovering from a shoulder surgery that will keep her out for her entire senior season.
Still, first-year Swamp Fox coach Chelsie Lisenby is optimistic.
“We are going to miss Aubrey but we have two girls with catching experience and some very good contact hitters,” she said. “With Aubrey out, a lot of my returners have stepped up and taken charge. I’m excited about this season. We are a young team, but I have high expectations and expect us to make the playoffs and advance.”
The team’s 17-player roster includes no seniors, seven juniors and six sophomores. All but five members of the varsity team have played together so chemistry should be sound.
Returning letterman Annika Ponton and Amber Watson, a transfer student from Ohio, will likely handle most of the catching duties. Watson also has experience at third base.
Returning junior Kendall Zeski and returning freshman Camyrn Alverson will likely handle most of the pitching duties. Both saw time in the circle for the Lady Swamp Foxes last season.
Players returning with infield experience include Sierra Robinette, Val Frank, Emily Hutt, Alyssa Ateniza and Kelly Cousins. Nicole Snow brings experience to the outfield.
Robinette and transfer students Mackenzie Nicely (Tennessee) and Taylor DeLeon (Hanahan High) may also play some in the grass though DeLeon also has infield experience.
Noel Gilley, Elizabeth Moorer, Madison Veronee and Katie Chambers are players who were pulled up to the varsity from the JV last season who are hoping to have bigger roles this season. Crystal Owens is a freshman in her first season with the varsity team also looking to earn playing time.
“The talent we have is amazing,” Lisenby said. “I’ve been blessed with girls with great attitudes and work ethic. Whatever I ask them to do, they do it. One thing we need to minimize is mental mistakes. I’m not worried about that but we need to make sure we stay in the game mentally and don’t just rely on our skills. It should be exciting to see how far we can go and how we grow as a team.”
The coach is expecting Region 8-AAAA to be as competitive as it was last season.
“I don’t think any of the teams lost a whole lot of players so it will be interesting to see how things unfold,” she said.
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