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Softball season just around the corner

Anyone who knows me or has spent any time with me knows how much I dislike basketball season.

The games can be fun. Being indoors is nice. And actually, I like basketball for the most part. The season is just too long.

Now, after all that long and drawn out introduction, my point is that I’m writing this week about what I’m looking forward to n softball.

It’s only a few weeks away when the local softball teams will don coats and long pants and take the practice fields of the area as they prepare for the 2007 season.

As the main local sports reporter covering the sport, I’m going to give you a quick preview of what’s likely coming to your schools.

I’ll start with this year’s most likely success story at Bertie High School. Coach Jackie Copeland has the nucleus of a good team returning headlined by senior right-hander Megan Cowan and catcher Carla Cooper.

Those two established stars may be the best at their positions and have the benefit of seniors Abby Parker at second and Brittany Hoggard in right field.

Add to those the solid play of underclassmen first baseman Courtney Dunlow and shortstop Holly Cowand and you can see the beginnings of a special season.

Move just 14 miles down the road to Merry Hill and you’ll find another softball power in two-time state champion Lawrence Academy. First-year coach Bill Swain will not be finding the cupboard bear despite losing All-State performers Jessica Johnston and Jodi White.

With Kendall Street back for the Warriors as their number one starter and solid play of shortstop Leighanne Eubanks, catcher Ashley Swain and youngsters like Ashtyn Mizelle and Debbie Stotesbury, the team is going to be legitimately tough.

Northeast Academy and coach Joella Brown will also have a strong returning team, though some of that will depend on the health of Betty Edwards.

With Jessica Duncan back on the mound and Lindsey Bridgers behind the plate, the team will be good, but Edwards’ ability to play will likely make the difference.

At Northampton-East the main success for the Rams will be having Mindy Drewette back on the mound. The team has potential, but most of it is linked to how dominating the senior right-hander is.

Hertford County High School has a solid team returning and the group is still young. Coach Rick Heckler is building something that can be good, but may still be a year away from true competition.

Kelli Martin is back as is Lauren Lilley and Whitney Liverman and those three make Ridgecroft School dangerous. The seniors will be the nucleus of the team, but it will be youngsters Tayler Smith and Emily Cooke that will be counted on to take the Rams from their status in the middle of the pack to the top of the TIC.

Ridgecroft has the ability to finish second in the league if they catch and few breaks and play the way their capable of every day. This team will have to work hard for coach Larry Smith as they earn their way to the top of the league.

Questions? Comments? Snide Remarks?

You can reach me at thadd.white@r-cnews.com or call me at 332-7211.

Be careful out there and be good sports.