2022 Spring Preview: Exeter Softball

By Chris Parker

Exeter softball has posted back-to-back winning seasons including a 13-win season in 2021. The Tigers are poised to make it three straight winning seasons with first-team all-conference senior Aubry Antle returning to the circle at pitcher.

“Senior Aubry Antle will be a key leader for our team this year on the field,” Exeter head coach Ashley Fly said. “She has expectations of herself and her teammates. She pushes her teammates to want to do their best and win games.”

Antle pitched 93 of 107 innings last year striking out 109 while posting a 3.16 ERA. She was also a force at the plate hitting .672 with a .725 on-base percentage. She drove in 34 runs and scored 28. The senior had 39 hits in 58 at-bats with a 1.897 on-base percentage.

Senior utility player Jolie Mattingly along with juniors Emma Sorensen (outfield) and Madison Crumpler (infield) will also be key team leaders. Sorensen brings great patience to the plate after leading the team with 14 walks last year. She posted a .421 on-base percentage. Crumpler scored 18 runs with a .358 on-base percentage as a sophomore.

Crumpler will also see time at pitcher this year.

“Antle has a variety of pitches. She has been a key player in our winning seasons. When she is hitting her spots and on her game she is a tough pitcher to hit,” Fly said. “Madison Crumpler is a lefty. She has been working hard in the offseason. Her speed and Aubry’s speed vary. She and Aubry offset each other in many ways. Both girls will be a big help for a successful season.”

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Natatlie Crumpler returns behind the plate at catcher. She was a second-team all-conference selection last year. She hit .407 with a .492 on-base percentage last year. Crumpler scored 20 runs and drove in 19 more in 2021.

Madison Crumpler, Jolie Mattingly and sophomore Ali Daniels-Arivett along with freshman Karlee Willis, Abby Lemons, Dawnee Sorensen and Hallie Woods will be players to watch on the infield.

That quartet of freshmen will also be a factor in the outfield with Sorensen and Makenze Shaw.

“We have seven returning letterman from last year. These seven all had playing time and some started last year. We will build off a great season last year with the hopes of a good season this year. Our strengths will be on our pitching. If our pitchers are throwing well we will play well. Our seven returners are wanting to end our season this year better than last year,” Fly said. “We will have some gaps to fill from last year and that will be one area our team needs to improve. We will have some holes in our lineup for offense and defense. We will need to find a way to get the freshman ready to fill these holes/gaps.”

Exeter opens the season on Mar. 19 at the Verona Invitational.

“Our expectations for our team this year is for our girls to come in and work hard every day,” Fly said. “If they are coming in and working hard we will improve by the end of the season and get back to where we want to be again this season.”

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