Southside softball set to bounce back

Published 5:23 pm Tuesday, February 28, 2023

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The Southside softball team has a blend of youth and experience in the right positions as the 2023 season begins.

Junior center fielder Jacqueline Hernandez and senior shortstop Logan Dail return from last year’s squad that went 5-14 overall and 1-9 in Coastal Plains Conference play.

Key additions include pitchers Mya Bryant, a junior who missed last year with an injury and freshman Carolina Crisp, who was a standout for P.S. Jones Middle School last year.

Fellow freshman Savannah Silverthorne steps in at catcher, which gives coach Kam Rouse experience and ability in key spots.

“We finally have enough girls to have a bench this year, so we should be a lot better,” coach Kam Rouse said. “We have 15 with some form of softball experience and our two best hitters coming back. Mya and Carolina are both solid pitchers and Savannah has been good behind the plate.”

Hernandez batted .465 last spring, with 26 runs scored and 25 RBI. She had a pair of home runs, six doubles and a triple with 19 stolen bases and provided solid outfield defense.

“She has worked during the off-season to improve all parts of her game and is becoming a better leader,” Rouse said. “She’s been more vocal this spring and I expect her to have a big year.”

Dail hit .362 with a team-best 32 runs scored and 38 stolen bases, but struggled at the end of last season. Rouse wants more consistency from his senior captain.

“She had a great middle of the season last year and we need her to start that way this time and maintain it all season,” Rouse said. She’s a switch hitter, our fastest runner and can play anywhere on defense. Consistency is the key for her.”

Rouse’s lineup in the field will depend on who is pitching, but he expects senior Reese Cutler to join Hernandez in the outfield with the other spot up for grabs.

Sophomore Lily McLean will start at third base and classmate Dana Ransom will hold down first. Bryant or Crisp will play second when they aren’t pitching with Dail at shortstop.

“Our defense has been better so far and we have a great group of young players,” Rouse said. “Our goal is to have a good year and make the playoffs.”