GRAFTON—The Grafton High School softball team will play their first contest of the season this coming Saturday as they travel to Petersburg to take on the Vikings.
This season Coach Tyler Cox has welcomed a good mix of experienced high school players with a great deal of experience coming from the middle school program. In fact this season Coach Cox has four seniors, zero juniors, nine sophomores and four freshmen.
The senior class includes Haley Curry, Madison Knotts, Aleah McGee and Lainie Rush.
“I have been coaching most of the seniors for four years and I am expecting great things from them this year,” said second year head coach Tyler Cox. “Haley and Madison bring infield experience as they both started last season at first and second base. They both have been working extremely hard during preseason practice and I can’t wait to watch them play their last year in the gold and blue. All my seniors have been hitting the ball good so far this season and they are developing as good leaders for our young team,” he added.
The sophomore class includes Mia Chambers, Aubree Collins, Madelyn Countryman, Sydney Moore, Haley Perks, Haley Phillips, Olivia Shaver, Katie Tucker and Ashlyn Zbosnik.
“These girls have grown physically and mentally in the off season,” said Cox. “They make up the biggest part of our team and they will need to contribute for us to have a great season,” said Coach Cox.
The freshman class consists of Frederique Maloley, Amber Smith, Gracen Purkey and Anna Stottlemyer.
“This is a very talented freshman class,” said Coach Cox. “They are just four good ballplayers.”
The Bearcats have several returners from last year’s team and will be strong up the middle once again this season.
“Mia Chambers will return as our “ace” this season,” said Coach Cox. “Mia saw 90 percent of the pitching duties for us last season and did a terrific job.”
Catching Mia this season will be fellow sophomore Aubree Collins who last season played several positions for the Bearcats.
“Aubree can play anywhere in the field for us,” said Cox. “She has worked on her arm in the off season and should be one of the better catchers in the area this season.”
As it looks right now Curry will be returning at first for GHS and Knotts will once again hold down second base for the Lady Cats.
One key freshman for GHS this season will be Frederique Maloley. Maloley will get to see some action in the infield for GHS as well as giving Chambers much needed relief at the pitching position.
“Right now most of the positions are still up for grabs as we have several girls who will contribute for us this season,” said Coach Cox. “All the ladies have put in great effort for us so far this year. It’s been great this year as we have actually been able to practice (he was referring to not being able to practice at the start of last season due to the work stoppage). Right now I believe we are in really good shape headed into the season. We have had a few little bumps in the road but we have been able to work our way out of them and we are ready to get this season started,” he concluded.
Once again this season Taylor Wyatt and Jason Knotts will be assisting Coach Cox with his coaching duties.
If the weather holds out the Cats will play their first away contest of the season this Saturday at Petersburg. The first home contest for GHS will be next Tuesday against Buckhannon-Upshur. The game is set to begin at 5:00 p.m.
This season in addition to their regular games the girls will be playing in three tournaments. Two of the three tournaments will be multi-day tournaments with the girls getting to experience the competitive nature of tournament play. The multi-day tournaments will be held in Keyser and Huntington. Also this season the Cats will host their second annual Bearcat Bash on April 20th. This season the Cats will host Preston, Phillip Barbour and Hampshire for the one day tournament. The games will begin at 9:00 a.m. and run through 9:00 p.m.
The softball team will be holding several fundraisers for this season which include an elimination dinner and they are selling signs for the outfield fence. If you wish to have more information on the fundraisers please contact Coach Tyler Cox.