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The Buford High School Lady Jackets are looking to continue their softball success with a veteran group of players this season.
The BHS girls, who went 24-7 last season before falling in the Class A Upper State playoffs, return six players who were starters a year ago.
Sophomore Carley Bailey, an all-region pick last season when she won the team’s Best Defensive Player Award, leads a deep pitching staff, which includes sophomore Kelsi Moser and freshman Ashley Lloyd.
Senior Catie Rowell, a starter last season, will handle the catching duties. Rowell, an all-region selection last spring, was named the team’s Most Improved Player.
Moser and Courtney Ackerman, a freshman, will provide depth behind the plate, with Ackerman working between the BHS varsity and junior varsity.
Kendall Boone, a senior, will be at first base where Moser and freshman Summer Mungo add depth.
Kayla Lloyd, a senior, is back to handle second base. Kassidy Barton, a freshman, will also work at second base.
Freshman Ashley Lloyd, who played third last season, returns at the hot corner. Peyton Hovis, a freshman, is slated to provide depth.
Freshman Carson Mehaffey will be at shortstop where Ashley Lloyd and Hannah Knight, a junior, might also work at the infield post.
The outfield is solid with junior Daphne Honeycutt in left field and Knight in center field and Freshman Mikayla Hannah in right field.
Knight, an all-region selection a year ago, was presented the Best Offensive Award last season.
Freshman Erica Blackmon will provide depth and versatile Tiera Stewart is available for utility duty.
“Tiera will also be used for her running ability in running situations,” BHS coach “C” Davis said.
Davis will be assisted by Ronnie Bailey and Wayne Boone, with Robbie Loudermilk serving as the Lady Jackets’ scorekeeper. Davis added she’s hoping Anna Parker will be back to serve as the team manager.
Davis noted the team’s keys for the 2011 season.
“We have to play solid defense and we have to be able to execute the short game,” Davis said. “It has to be consistent.
“We have our share of speed this season and we want to take advantage of it,” Davis said.
Davis, in her third season leading the Lady Jackets, said the Region IV-AA race will be tough.
“It will be tough competition,” Davis said. “Central is No. 1, with Andrew Jackson, Indian Land and Cheraw all in the mix.
“Four teams make the playoffs, so one solid team is going to be miss the playoffs this season,” Davis noted.
The Lady Jackets, 1-0 after a 4-3 comeback win over Lancaster, have a busy week as BHS faced Central of Pageland on Tuesday. Buford hosts Camden today and meets Andrew Jackson on Friday.
Buford travels to Chesterfield on Saturday to face the Lady Rams in a game which was rained out last week.