Posted: Wednesday, 07 August 2013 9:56AM

Branson softball hoping to find new ace pitcher



Branson, Mo. (OzarksSportsZone.com)  -- The Branson High School softball team will be one of the teams in the Central Ozark Conference-Large Division to keep an eye on as the 2013 campaign begins.

The Lady Pirates, who had a 13-14 record last year, upset the second-seeded Nixa Eagles to make the district finals. They fell to the Ozark Tigers, the eventual second-place finishers in Class 4, but will be looking to build on that success this year. 

Branson head coach, Mary Arnold, who begins her 20th season (15th at Branson), is very optimistic about the Lady Pirates program moving in the right direction. With assistant coaches Joe Poor and Kendra Scott helping, Branson will be looking to replace just one player.  That player, however, was pitcher Hannah Johnson, a three-time first team all-conference player who will be missed.

All is not lost, though, as the Lady Pirates return three players that received post-season honors: left fielder Molly O’Dell (all-conference and all-district), shortstop Emily Calovich (all-district) and Bri Presley (all-district). With Calovich at SS, Branson returns their entire infield, Chelsea Weston will play third, Avery Aulgur at first, Ashley Forrest at pitcher/second and behind the plate will be catcher Kinzee Penner.

Three sophomores, Tino Stevens, Emma Miller and Ashley Carder will be vying for varsity playing time.

“We have several younger teams that are now traveling and playing in the summer,” Arnold said. “They understand what it takes to play in the COC.  Our junior high teams are also helping to improve our program.”

In the COC-Large there are no easy games or bad teams, so Branson will have to be prepared to play every game. 

“We want to be back in the district championship game again,” Arnold said. “But we must improve every game.  Ashley Forrest has done an awesome job this summer in the circle for us. This summer we have proven that we can play good defense and keep ourselves in the game.”

Photo Galleries

Pictures: Mizzou 38, South Dakota State 18


The Tigers won their opening game of the season in front of 60,000 people.

Pictures: Strafford XC Meet


Springfield Catholic swept the team titles while Tabitha Weber and Daylan Quinn clenched individual gold medals.

Pictures: Top 100 Photos of Week 2 Football


Catch the 100 best photos from the second week of the football season.
Videos
O-Zone Opinion
Mohawk Chronicles: Week 2 Football Recap
Who were the big players from Week 2 football? What do you have to look forward to in Week 3. I cover it all here. See all of Week Two's top plays in the video above. Big Man on Campus Johnny Healy, Mountain Grove – Often...
Read More
5 Takeaways from Mizzou's win over SDSU
Mizzou opened its football season with a 38-18 win over FCS opponent South Dakota State on Saturday. Here are five things I am taking away from the first game of the season. PICTURES: MIZZOU VS. SOUTH DAKOTA STATE - CLICK HERE 1. It is a good thing...
Read More
Win or lose, 2014's the turning point for Bears' program
 The freshness of a new season offers a chance for a fresh start, hope and the promise of a better future.   And if you’ve been a Missouri State football fan or follower for any part of the past two and a half decades, you know no team...
Read More
Most Viewed