By Chris Parker
Hermitage marched to a Class 1 District 4 Championship last season. The Lady Hornets fell to Halfway 5-4 in the Class 1 state sectional round to finish 18-6 overall.
They will have to replace three all-conference players including Polk County League MVP Sheridan Corum if they are to get back there this season. Also gone from that team are all-conference selections Anna Ginnings and Makayla Hostlettler.
Jade Morris returns to lead the team coming off a first-team all-conference selection as an outfielder last year. She was one of the team’s better hitters last year with an average over .400.
“With the loss of several key positions, Morris will likely move to the infield to anchor the shortstop position and possibly become a back-up hurler,” head coach Shane Salmon said. “She will likely be our lead-off hitter with her speed and ability to put the ball in play.”
Senior outfielder Abby Irek could see time in centerfield or at third base this season. Fellow senior Lindsey Smith is poised for big things at first base both with her bat and defensively.
Emily Christian will be the pitcher in her senior season and be a consistent hitter.
Some new faces to watch this year include sophomore Shekainah Andrew (outfield), freshman Chelsi Horn and senior Gracie Peterson (outfield).
Salmon is looking for his team to remain competitive in the wake of losing six starters from last season’s team.
“(We want) to be competitive against teams from our area, although it will take time as we rebuild after losing six starters to graduation or transfer from last year’s district championship team,” Salmon said.
Hermitage opens the season on Aug. 24 at the Humansville Softball Tournament.