Warren County Middle School softball coach Joe Damon has reloaded his roster after losing four of his top five hitters in the lineup. Having his top two pitchers back certainly helps the outlook for the 2022 season.
Pitching ace Ceilee Gudat highlights the eighth grade class for the Lady Pioneers, while seventh-grader Nevaeh Duggin has shown she’s effective in the pitching circle as well.
“We’ll have high expectations for both those girls and others too,” said Damon. “Most everyone on the team is playing travel ball this summer and I know some of them are pitching.”
Gudat was overpowering in many games last season. When she experienced trouble, it was not because other teams were hitting her pitches. It was because of walks. Duggin proved to be a nice complement and worked well when getting time in the circle.
Damon is a well-respected coach who is dedicated to the sport. Chief among his concerns will be finding a new catcher, two new middle infielders, and a centerfielder.
“We have several girls who can fill those spots,” said Damon. “It will be a matter of how well we can get them to gel. We have multiple girls who can play those positions.”
Maddox Adams, Brooklyn Burkett, Kyaira Sharpe and Lola Wells are returning veterans who will be eighth-graders with experience.
Makenzie Hullett started in right field last season as a sixth-grader, and she will be returning on the team. Alexia Ross also saw significant playing time as a sixth-grader and she is a player who could step in and pitch.
“We had a good turnout at tryouts,” said Damon. “I feel like we reloaded the roster pretty well, and this winter we will get back to work to prepare for next year. We normally keep the roster to 20 girls or less, but we went a little over that because we have some good athletes and we want to give them a shot and see what they can do. We always expect to compete and I think we should do well with this team we have coming up.”
Damon said WCMS softball won’t do anything as a team this summer because so many of the girls are competing on travel ball teams. He said WCMS will start conditioning in late October.