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Fort Dorchester High School
North Charleston

Fort Dorchester softball takes big step in 2017

 

By David Shelton

Senior Writer

North Charleston – In only her second season as the head coach, Lindsay LaPrad has taken the Fort Dorchester to another level.

The 2017 season was a huge building block for future success. The Patriots competed in a very tough region 7-AAAAA and finished as the second-place team. They advanced to the finals of the district VII tournament before dropping a pair of heart-breaking games to Conway.

Fort Dorchester knocked off Conway in the second-round of the playoffs and hosted the region 6-AAAAA champion on May 3rd needing one win to capture the title and advance to the lower state final four bracket.

Unfortunately, Fort Dorchester lost game one, 2-1, and then dropped game two, 3-2, ending their season.

“It’s disappointing but we’ve had an unbelievable year,” LaPrad said. “Our program has had a program-changing year and that’s big. Getting here was one thing but getting to the next step is the next thing. We are making steps and we are making them quickly. I just wish we had been able to take that next step tonight but we gave it all we had. I am proud of them.

“The girls played hard all year and they worked as hard as we asked them to work. They had a great year and we have a great year to build on. Our whole focus was to move on. They know they were in a position and I don’t think for one second that they didn’t try as hard as they could. We just came up a little short.”

LaPrad’s 2018 team looks to be one that can make a deeper playoff run next spring. The team loses only two starters – third baseman Callie Shirey and designated player/hitter Abby White. Pitchers Gabby Lawrence and Maddy Wren will return to anchor things in the circle.

 Shortstop Faith Jones and second baseman Bricelin Balcer will return in the middle, along with catcher Olivia Varella and centerfielder Lynnzie Crosby. First baseman Merryll Dolbeck and leftfielder Kayla Holladay also are slated to return next season.

“We will miss our two seniors who were great leaders and players for us,” LaPrad said. “We have a very good group coming back. Making the playoffs is the first goal and we did that this year. Winning district is the next goal so that’s what we are shooting for. We should be very competitive and this playoff experience should help us.”

 

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