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Andrew Jackson High School

Jay Welch Retiring After Six Productive Years As Softball Coach At Andrew Jackson Academy

By Billy G. Baker


Ehrhardt—When Andrew Jackson Academy softball head coach Jay Welch took over the Confederates softball program six years ago the program was mired into an 0-42 losing streak in SCISA and the team was having to play their home games on the baseball field.

“I would like to thank getting our own softball field, which is one of the better facilities in our region built, and having two winning seasons over the past six years is a step in the right direction,” said Coach Welch who is stepping down from the program after this season. “I feel like I am leaving the program in better shape than it was in when I started coaching. It is time to give the job to a younger person and I have enjoyed my six seasons as the head coach.”

Andrew Jackson concluded the regular season on May, 9 with a 22-20 slugfest win at Clarendon Hall. The win improved their record to 5-10 with a region record of 4-8. “We have submitted our team record to SCISA and we are hoping to get an invite to the playoffs this weekend in Sumter,” said Coach Welch. “We have such a tough region with schools like Holly Hill Academy and Dorchester Academy I feel like we have a chance to be invited.”

In the game against Clarendon Hall team MVP Gabby Sease, the team’s lone all-region performer collected four hits to improve on her .450 batting average. “Gabby has started for five years in our program and she is a solid player,” said Coach Welch. “She is going to play volleyball and softball at USC Salkehatchie next year. She has helped pitching as well.”

Late in the season the team lost their top two pitchers to injuries and senior Hannah Lucas has stepped up and taking most of the pithing load after playing between first and third most of the season. Grace Sutton and Kayla Gunnells were the two former pitchers who went out with injuries.

Behind Sease on the hit index has been junior third baseman Skyler Carter who has a .390 batting average along with senior shortstop Kayla Ward who is batting around .400 on the season. Ward had three hits against Clarendon Hall including two doubles.

 Due to injuries Coach Welch had to bring up players form the jayvee to compete against Clarendon Hall. Two of those players included first baseman Haylee Owens and Kaitlyn Rentz who played in the outfield. The defensive spark plug of the team is veteran senior second baseman Jordan Barnes. Another key starter the past few seasons has been senior outfielder Carey Herdnon and veteran senior potfield performer Caitlin McAlister. Emmy Hall is the four year starter at catcher.





© 2017 High School Sports Report

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