By Chris Parker
Coach Melissa Hull enters her second season as the head coach of the Greenfield softball program with high expectations. The Lady Wildcats won the Class 1 District 12 title last year before falling to eventual final four participant Mt. Vernon in the sectional round.
“Winning the district title last season was an awesome feeling for the team,” Hull said. “The team made school history by winning our district. It will be a season to remember. We hope to see a continuation of last year for the 2020 season.”
Greenfield graduated two all-state performers in catcher Kiarra Mai and outfielder Lauren Jones from last year’s team.
Returning starters this year include Adriauna Wallen (senior left field), Morgan Wright (junior shortstop), Jaden Baker (junior third base) and Ashley Daniel (junior second base). Wallen hit .429 last season. Wright stole 47 bases and scored 37 runs behind a .459 average. Baker drove in 13 runs and scored 21 runs. Daniel had 24 steals and 22 runs scored.
Cynika Mannary was the back-up pitcher last season and will see significant increase in innings in the circle. Six freshmen will fight for playing time as well.
“The team will have several areas to improve on this season. We will be adding four to five freshmen into the starting line-up,” Hull said. “Offense will be the biggest improvement that will need to happen this season for success. Losing the power hitting to graduation will be a great loss. This team will rely on the speed when on base. The freshmen coming into the season are athletic and knowledgeable. We will be replacing the entire center of the field this season.”
With all the young players, expect to see a different team from the beginning of the season to the end.
“The team will probably struggle for a short time with replacing the graduating seniors. Pitching will be the key and being a small district, it is limited. We look for this team to be a contender when districts begin in May,” Hull said.
Greenfield opens the season Mar. 20-21 at the Sarcoxie Tournament.