By Kai Raymer (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
Logan-Rogersville softball has some familiar names gone from its lineup. But don’t think “rebuild” just yet, because you don’t put together a seven-year stretch of success without knowing how to adjust and adapt.
The Wildcats will have a lineup filled with players who broke out as sophomores and freshmen.
The biggest question? Replacing a lot of offensive production.
“We’re eager to see if we can hit with this group,” said Wildcats coach Denny McHenry.
Logan-Rogersville welcomes back three all-region players.
Sophomore Halle Miles (P/1B) was one of the top freshmen in the state last season, hitting .455 with nine homers, 12 doubles, 36 RBIs and 25 runs. In the circle, she went 11-1 overall with a 2.27 ERA in 74 innings.
Battery mate Jenna Lane, a junior, hit .420 with three homers, six doubles and 29 RBIs.
Logan-Rogersville’s third returning all-region player, Meghan Hager (CF), hit .376 with 38 total hits and 18 steals as a sophomore.
Cassidy Coambes (2B) earned a spot on the All-Big 8 first team as a freshman. She hit .450 with 36 total hits and 27 RBIs.
Logan-Rogersville has another pitching option in junior Jenna McKenzie (P/OF). She went 4-2 with a 2.59 ERA over 54 innings last season. At the plate, she hit .239 with 16 total hits.
“Our pitching should be good and our defense should be a plus,” McHenry said.
The Wildcats also return senior Jessi Jenkins (2B/OF) to their lineup. She hit .265 with three doubles last season. Junior Ali Icenhower (.327) gives the Wildcats another experienced starter in the outfield.
Logan-Rogersville has become a model for consistency over the last seven seasons.
The Wildcats have won 17 or more games each season dating back to 2013. The Wildcats also won district titles in 2015, 2017 and 2019.
The only thing that’s eluded them: advancing to the state final four.
Logan-Rogersville had one of the best seasons in program history last year, winning a share of the Big 8 conference title, a district title and finishing 24-7 overall.
The Wildcats had a thrilling, come-from-behind victory over McDonald County in the sectional round before losing to eventual Class 3 state champion Helias Catholic in the next round.
Logan-Rogersville graduated a senior class that played a lot of innings at key positions in recent years.
Angie Coambes was a four-year starter at shortstop. She hit .417, including 13 extra-base hits, with 21 RBIs, 37 runs and 13 steals as a senior.
Shelby Ince (3B/C) was another four-year starter. She hit .365 with 10 doubles, two homers, 29 RBIs and 36 runs.
Paige Leithead (P/1B), a three-year starter, hit .341 with four doubles, two homers and 28 RBIs. Leithead’s continuing her career at North Arkansas Community College.
Coambes, Ince and Leithead were named all-region in Class 3.
The Wildcats also graduated Lanie Rostic (.286 batting average), who McHenry described as a “great leader of young women.”
Newcomers to watch include the junior trio of Maddie Evans (2B/OF), Kendall Meadors (1B/OF) and Gracie Kibby (SS/OF).
Freshman Emma Spurlin (3B/SS) will also contend for varsity playing time.
McHenry said the Wildcats resumed their offseason program in early June, then played league and travel ball through July.
Logan-Rogersville begins the regular season August 28-29 at the Sullivan Invitational.
“We’re still waiting to see if we’ll be (assigned to) Class 3 or Class 4,” McHenry said. “The hardest part of our schedule could come early in the season, so we’ll need to be ready.”