For Greenon first-year varsity head softball coach Todd Shuttleworth, he has been here before. Last season, Shuttleworth was the varsity assistant coach for the Knights who just fell short of a .500 season, finishing 13-14 overall on the season.
This year as Shuttleworth takes over the reigns, he wants to see his players break through for a winning season, and feels like things are looking up.
“When the head coach moved on, I really liked the kids I was coaching, and I love the speed of the game, so it seemed like a good fit,” Shuttleworth said. “We haven’t been over .500 in a long time, and our first step is to get over that mark then go with higher expectations.”
“One of our concerns right now is our defense, we have spots to fill,” he added. “We are working on them right now, and since we weren’t a good defensive team last year, and we needed to improve on that.”
Leading the way for the Knights are three seniors, including three-year starter Vic Workman at a very important position, behind the plate.
“She hit .352 last year and it is very important that she is a good leader and works well with our pitchers,” Shuttleworth said. “She knows the pitcher and what they like to throw in certain situations.”
Another senior expected to be one of the key players is first baseman Macey Hardy, who hit .329 last year.
“She does a nice job for us hitting in the 4-5 spot,” Shuttleworth said. “Macey is a big part of our offense, and she makes contact a lot. She won’t strike out much.”
Senior Sam Chaffin returns as the primary pitcher this season, as she threw 120 innings last year and had 152 strikeouts, which placed her third in the CBC.
“She does a good job mixing things up, can hit the corners and does a great job keeping batters off stride,” Shuttleworth said.
Leading the team last year offensively was junior shortstop Lexi Romine, who hit .435 last season. She also will find some time on the mound for the Knights.
“Lexi is a middle of the order hitter, and is very good at getting on base, “ the Greenon coach said. “She is a quick player.”
Arian McNeil returns at third base, as the junior hit .432 last year. According to the coach, she handles her position well.
Centerfielder MaKaila Randall returns as a key defensive outfielder. She only hit around .200 last year, and Shuttleworth said he needs her to hit more consistently, but praised her glove.
Other juniors to watch are outfielders Harly Finlaw and Marisa Smith.
Maleigha Young will be in left field, as the sophomore hit .365 as a freshman. Mariah Gossett also returns as a second baseman and can give the everday catcher a break.
Other sophomores are Emily Howard (infielder), Makalia Griffis (outfield) and Kylee Gmuca (infield).
Three freshman also have a spot on the varsity roster: third baseman Lacey Webb, outfielder Kelly See and Nicole Major (shortstop and outfield)