By Amanda Perkins (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
Scott Tooley is new to the Cabool program, but no stranger to softball; he’s been part of the sport for 10 of his 21 years of coaching and spent recent years assisting the Mountain Grove baseball team.
“We are young,” said Coach Tooley, “so we are still learning, and that’s the exciting part.”
Despite their youth, the Lady Bulldogs earned several all-district honors last season. Katlynn Ellison was named to the first team as a pitcher, and the junior returns this season, starting at shortstop. “She’s a great athlete, has good speed, and can run the bases,” said Coach Tooley. Ellison will also be in the circle once again.
Junior Maggie Wells, first team catcher, returns to her role and will also be found in the infield. Gracie Campbell earned second team honors as a freshman last season and will be pitching and playing infield.
Lyndsey Carr is the lone senior on the team, and the outfielder has a good arm and considerable range.
Junior Adrian Fleetwood plays first base and has “a good glove and a nose for the ball,” according to her coach. Classmate Kayleigh Shelton will play infield and some outfield.
The underclassmen make up the bulk of the team, and the sophomore class is substantial. Vanessa Kentner is an outfielder with a good glove and speed, and Dalila Cannon is also an outfielder and pitcher. Alexis Hearst will play infield, and Abigail Heuerman is a versatile player and can be useful wherever needed. Abigail Chalfant and Emily Goad are both learning the game and will be great assets to the team, per Coach Tooley.
Freshmen Hailey Shannon, Alexis Matherly, Megan Gayer, and Haylie Trifogle round out the team. Shannon will catch and play infield, Matherly will help man first base, Gayer will cover outfield, and Trifogle will also play infield and add to the pitching staff’s depth.
Last year, the team went 7-9 and lost to Koshkonong in Class 1, district 7 play. The new assembly will work to improve on that record as they learn together.
“We’ve got some team speed, so we’ll be able to run bases,” said Coach Tooley. “If we can just field and hit, we’ll be able to compete with just about anybody.”