By Chris Parker
Lamar is poised for a strong season with four all-conference selections back from last season’s eight-win team.
The leader of that group is first-team all-conference catcher Ashley Lawrence.
“Ashley will be a great leader for our team. She has the knowledge and experience to guide the team to success this year. She strives to grow as an individual and help the program to grow,” head coach Jami Bauer said.
Kinley Nance will again hold down third base in her senior season after earning second-team all-conference honors last year.
“Kinley has grown over the past two years. She will be a strong third baseman and a great offensive player for us this year. Her knowledge and strategy of the game continues to grow,” Bauer said.
Jena Stahl brings versatility to the team as proven by her second-team all-conference selection as a utility player in her junior season.
“Jena has done well with stepping up and filling the position that her teams needs her to. She is a true first baseman but with her experience and knowledge of the game she can play anywhere,” Bauer said. “I asked her to step up and play shortstop for us last year but hoping this year we can develop an underclassman to fill that role. I am looking at playing her either middle infield or first base.”
Junior Ashland Diggs will again shoulder a big responsibility in the circle pitching coming off of an honorable mention all-conference selection.
“Ashland has stepped up and showed a lot of dedication. I believe she has grown as a pitcher and become more comfortable with making adjustments on the mound,” Bauer said.
Meghan Watson (sophomore middle infielder), Elly Haun (sophomore outfielder) and Sam Crossley (sophomore outfielder) will also impact the varsity lineup for Lamar.
The Big 8 conference expanded this year to welcome in five schools from the COC Small, which will provide an even more challenging conference slate.
“We will have a tough season with the Big 8 schools. We will be facing great competition with each team in the Big 8,” Bauer said.
Bauer’s expectations for her Lamar team will be simple this season.
“I expect them to compete every game and give there all. I want them to have pride in their program and continue to develop their program,” Bauer said.
Lamar opens the season on Aug. 28 at new Big 8 foe Reeds Spring.