Colleton Prep softball off to great start in 2017
By David Shelton
Walterboro – Despite a change at the top, the Colleton Prep softball team continues to roll along in 2017.
Former coach Ken Wilson is back in the program and holds the top spot as head coach this spring. Wilson inherited a defending class A state champion but the program is competing in class AA this season.
Entering a key region game with Thomas Heyward on April 4th, the Warhawks were sitting pretty with a 13-2 overall record. Wilson is pleased with his team’s play through the first half of the season.
“We’re doing well so far,” Wilson said. “We have played very well against a competitive schedule. We have played some public schools and have played some of the bigger SCISA schools. It’s a good group of girls, very coachable. They love the game and they love to compete. It’s an easy team to coach.”
Included among Colleton Prep’s early season wins are a pair of victories over SCISA defending AAA state champion Laurence Manning – the first-ever wins for Colleton Prep over the AAA powerhouse. And this year’s success is with a relatively young team. Wilson starts only two seniors.
“This group is talented because most of them play travel ball at a pretty high level,” Wilson said. “Our depth is one of our strengths. We have seven or so girls that can play pretty much anywhere on the field so it’s easy to move people around without losing anything.”
Wilson uses three pitchers in the circle, led by hard-throwing sophomore Anne Garrett Carter, who also plays shortstop. Sophomore Meredith Ware, the first baseman, and senior third baseman Haley Wilson also see significant time in the circle.
The only other starting senior is catcher Penelope Tuten, an all-state selection last spring.
Eighth-grader Weslin Jones is the starting second baseman and is the team’s leading hitter from her leadoff spot. Sophomore Elizabeth Anne Dean is a utility infielder and sees time on the corners, depending on who is pitching.
Anchoring the outfield is freshman centerfielder Langley Harter, flanked on the corners by sophomores Heather Davis and Molly Warren.
Colleton Prep is hitting .416 as a team through 15 games.
“We have a good offensive team with players who put the ball in play on a consistent basis,” Wilson said. “I’m sure the average may come down some as we play more but I feel pretty good about our ability to hit and score runs. We have hit against some quality pitching already this season.”
Wilson says Class AA is more competitive overall than class A and he expects his team to face major challenges along the way this season. Williamsburg Academy has won the last two AA state titles and is ranked number one this season. Thomas Heyward has played in the finals the last two years and Marlboro Academy is a quality AA team this spring as well.
“We talk to the team a lot about staying focused and never taking any team for granted,” Wilson said. “We can’t be a team that expects to win by just showing up. We need to work to improve every day. I think this team will do that. They are a committed group of girls.”