Lady Eagles have new field to play on but the same expectations
NMCC -- New field surface, new backstop, new dugouts, same expectations--
win softball games. The New Madrid County Central Lady Eagles are looking to build off of a 10-7 record from the 2007 season, and head coach Steve Rogers said that his club is heading in the right direction already.
Returning from last season's Lady Eagles squad are all nine starters. Rogers is heading into his 16th season as the head coach, and has compiled a record of 182-60 throughout his time as the skipper.
"I'm hoping that things are turning the corner for us," said Rogers on this year's team. "Hopefully we can get back on track."
"I'm really excited about this year," he added. "We've got everybody back from last year, and we've got a really good freshman class. We've got four freshmen on the team."
One of the freshmen, Rogers said, is Kelly Robey, who will see time on the rubber this season. Rogers said that Robey throws the ball over 50 mph. Returning players from last season's team, according to Rogers, include seniors Brittany Masterson and Whitney Tanner, juniors Jessica Ruedrich, Sonni Carlisle and Shari Padilla. Sophomores will be Shelby Lawrence, Courtney Newton, Courtney Robinson, Alexis Wells, Brandi Gardner, Brandy Ash and Lynsey Daniels. The other freshmen receiving starting time according to Rogers could be Jessie Mitchell, in the outfield, and Samantha Hunter at third base, primarily when Robey is pitching. Masterson is NMCC's other hurler, coming in with plenty of experience as a senior athlete.
"We've had some really good players and some really good success," said Rogers, commenting on his experience as head coach. "I think we're fixing to get back on the winning track. We've got a really good schedule and I'm looking forward to it."
Rogers said that Dexter will be good once again and still has a loaded team from last season. He also said that Kennett and East Prairie will be tough, as they play in both the fall and spring seasons. "With a lot of people just going to fall softball, we've picked up a few good teams," said Rogers. "We've picked up Meadow Heights, Holcomb and Oak Ridge. As far as spring goes, we think we have a really competitive schedule."
The Lady Eagles will have a chance to see how difficult their schedule is early in the season, as they host the Dexter Lady Bearcats on Monday at 4 p.m.