Barnwell softball rolling through 2017 schedule
By C.R. Cumbee
Barnwell—It is scary how much potential litters the Barnwell softball roster this spring. The Warhorses have several fourth and fifth-year varsity players, but do not have a single senior on this year’s team.
That hasn’t caused any problems as Barnwell is a perfect 14-0 this season, including an 8-0 mark in conference play. Seven of those eight region victories came by at least 10 runs, and the other was an 8-1 win over Bamberg-Ehrhardt.
“We’ve got some new people in new spots and we had a couple areas that were a concern, but we’ve had people step up and do a good job. I knew we could be (undefeated), but I didn’t know if we would be,” head coach Carol Massengale said.
One of the top performers this spring has been pitcher Kelci Brown, who has recorded 79 strikeouts while walking just six batters. She recently pitched a no-hitter against Batesburg-Leesville and is also batting .529 with 31 runs scored in the leadoff spot in the order.
“Our pitching has been solid. We pitched four kids during the Midland Valley tournament, but Kelci has done the majority of the pitching during the regular season,” Massengale said. “Kelci has done a real nice job of not walking people, making them put it in play, and we’ve made some good defensive plays behind her.”
First baseman Anna Beth Grissom is hitting .488 with 18 runs batted in while catcher Kaylie Pridgen has a .400 average with a team-high 24 RBI. Designated player Allyssa Still has driven in 19 runs.
Other players in the lineup include second baseman Rachel Creech, shortstop Maleah Williams, third baseman Kyra Shuler, left fielder MaKayla Anderson and centerfielder Kylie Bridgmon. Right fielder Camryn Holloway suffered a knee injury and will miss the next two weeks, allowing Kaitlyn Holden to step in and get playing time.
“We’re only carrying 11 people and one of them is out, so health is a concern,” Massengale said. “We’re playing all 10 because we use a flex player. We’ll bring a couple up from jayvee in case we need them, but we’ve got to stay healthy since we’re low on numbers.”
Barnwell will compete in a tournament in Aiken before traveling to Bamberg-Ehrhardt (April 4) and Silver Bluff (April 12) to wrap up region action.