By Ronald Frazier
With a roster of 19 players, including seven seniors in the lineup, Glenwood softball coach Dusty Perdue expects his team to once again compete for a state championship in AISA Class AAA.
Despite a late start in the year due to a later ending of the basketball season, the Lady Gators started right away last weekend as they participated in the Edgewood tournament, winning two games while losing two games.
“We had good pitching and good defense, but in the tournament we had some games we did not hit the ball well,” Perdue said. “We will have to work on that.”
Pitching will be in good hands as the Lady Gators had returnees Ashley Gallant and Ariana Pinder and Carle Hampton is returning to pitch after recovering from an injury.
“Carle is ready this year after she was very limited last year as far as pitching was concerned and Ashley was voted the region MVP. Add to that Ariana Pinder, who is just a freshman and won a game for us that got us in the finals in 2018.” Perdue said of his pitching staff.
At the beginning of the year, Mae Durham will start as catcher while Hope Gullatt will be the designated hitter.
“Mae was the regular on the junior varsity and did catch some for us last year and Hope has an injury that limits her throwing but not her hitting,” said Perdue. Gallant will be playing infield when not on the mound and Pinder will also see time in the infield. Gallant was a regular at third and Hampton played several spots including shortstop.
The starting shortstop for 2019 is newcomer Chloe Enfinger with Wellesley Henderson placed at second base. Jaycee Griggs should also see action at second. First base will be returnee Sophie Wilkerson with Hampton possibly seeing action there.
The starting outfield is power hitter Anna Perdue, Hampton when she is not pitching and leadoff hitter Neely Austin.
“Neely did a great job hitting in all four games this weekend and has been in that leadoff spot,” said Perdue.
There is a crowd in the outfield as Perdue has Hayden Evans, Morgan Grant, who has also played infield, Lacey Pelt, Leila Childs, Mackenzie Dobbs, Macey Green and Macie Fanning.
On last Friday, the Lady Gators beat Bessemer 3-0 as Hampton was the winning pitcher and Gallant got a save, Austin had two of the Lady Gators six hits and the RBI’s came from Durham and Henderson.
However, in the second game, the Lady Gators were shut out on three hits, 5-0 by the top ranked softball team in the state, Macon East. Pinder took the loss as TJ James hit a three-run homer for the Lady Knights. Hampton, Austin and Durham had the Glenwood hits.
On Saturday, Glenwood no-hitter Lee Scott, 2-0 as Gallant and Hampton combined for a six-inning no hitter, Durham had the winning RBI and Gullatt had a triple and Hampton added a double.
In the second game on Saturday, Bessemer Academy stopped Glenwood, 5-2 as Beth Bisharat had a three-run homer for the Lady Rebels. Hampton had two hits but was the losing pitcher while Austin had two hits and both Lady Gator RBIs.
Glenwood was to play Autauga Academy this past Monday, but the results were not available before The Citizen deadline.
The Lady Gators will continue on the road for the rest of the week playing Abbeville today and then participating in the Morgan Academy tournament on March 2 and 3.
Their first home game will be March 4 versus Lakeside at the Lady Gator field.