Marionville, MO (Ozarks Sports Zone) -- Last year marked a breakthrough season for the Marionville High School softball team. Underclassmen, including five freshmen, saw the majority of playing time as the Lady Comets won the first district title in program history.
The 2012 season could be even better. Marionville brings back its entire lineup.
“We certainly hope (it will be better),” said Marionville coach Jeff Dishman. “Last year was so memorable for our team and our school.”
The Lady Comets had three freshmen and two sophomores earn all-conference honors last fall. They were: Bailey Stine (first team, catcher, sophomore); Whitney Wright (first team, outfielder, junior); Haley Lane (second team, shortstop, junior); Eden Henry (honorable mention, pitcher, sophomore) and Jaycie Dishman (honorable mention, infielder, sophomore).
Jaycie Dishman led Marionville in homers. Dual-sport athlete Josie Young adds depth at first base while Stine and Lane are vital defensive players.
“You always want to be good up the middle of your defense, and we have that,” Jeff Dishman said.
Stine is no slouch with the bat, having hit over .600 last season. Henry returns as the team’s starting pitcher.
Jeff Dishman described the sophomore as a ‘pitch-to-contact’ hurler.
“When Eden wants to get to work, she can get hitters out,” he said. “But most of the time we tell her to play to contact and let our defense take care of the rest. She has a good changeup that keeps hitters off-balance.”
In their 2011 district title game, the Lady Comets blasted Conway 11-1. Marionville would score a 5-2 victory over Pierce City in the opening round of the Class 2 state playoffs before falling to local power and Mid-Lakes Conference member Pleasant Hope in the quarterfinals.
Pleasant Hope lost to Palmyra in the Class 2 state title game; Marionville finished 16-10 overall. Jeff Dishman wouldn’t be surprised if Pleasant Hope and the Lady Comets met again in the playoffs this fall.
“I don’t think Pleasant Hope is going anywhere,” he laughed. “They always seem to have a good defense and a good pitcher.”
As for the defending Class 2, District 9 champions?
“We want to content for another district title,” Dishman said. “We’re fine with having those high expectations. We caught some breaks and were fortunate, injury wise, last year. If we stay healthy, we’ll be a contender.”
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