Central Eagles softball looking to post season
By Ken Buck
Pageland— Central Pageland first year head coach Katie Carnes knows a little bit about Lady Eagles’ softball. After all, it was not too long ago that she was a pitcher for the Lady Eagles who saw success at the state level during her time as a player. She’s now working to run the program that she once played for.
Currently the Lady Eagles at .500 overall and also at .500 in the region.
Carnes said that her team was struggling at the plate earlier in the season.
“We came out in a tournament in the pre-season and scored 11 runs on Andrew Jackson but then we faced them in the regular season and lost to them 1-0 in a pitcher’s duel,” she explains. “At the beginning of the tournament we were hot and then we fall off but lately we have picked back up I think and I am really happy to see that.”
Central picked up two wins this week alone, including a game against a Cheraw team to whom the Lady Eagles lost earlier in the season.
“I can definitely see the progression and I am happy to see that,” Carnes says. “Our pitchers are really settling in and our defense is kind of shaping up as well. At the beginning of the year I had a couple of positions that we were not sure of because we didn’t have people to put in certain positions but now they are kind of filling in nicely.
“I think that stability is really helping.”
Individual players who have been especially outstanding for Central Pageland includes Hannah Killough, a freshmen pitcher who plays first base.
Against Cheraw recently, Killough had 11 strike outs.
“That was huge for us because Cheraw has good hitters,” says Carnes. “She is really coming through for us.”
Another pitcher for the Lady Eagles is Sarah Stegall, who recently pitched against Andrew Jackson, where she gave up only four hits in a loss.
“Against a quality team like Andrew Jackson, that was pretty significant,” says Carnes. “She pitched well enough to win but we just didn’t hit the ball for her.”
Carnes said that both of the team’s pitchers have been playing well for the Lady Eagles.
Leah Stegall is rotating in at third base and at catcher, and is playing well, according to Carnes, who says Stegall is very good at covering bunts.
“She started out the year completely as a catcher but we were having some issues finding a third baseman so I decided to move her there and she’s done a really good job settling in,” says Carnes.
Second baseman Logan Duvall has settled in at a position that the Lady Eagles were struggling to fill earlier in the year, Carnes explained.
“She’s done a good job there,” Carnes adds.
Offensively, Leah Stegall and Killough have been the team’s more consistent hitters.
“Lately I have been really impressed with Martayjah Chambers, a junior,” Carnes says. “She’s come on and been clutch. In fact, recently against Chesterfield she had a stand up double that broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth inning as a pinch hitter.”
Chambers also had some clutch hits in the Cheraw win as well.
“She’s been working on her swing and she’s really developing,” Carnes adds. “It’s really paying off for the team.”
Carnes said that her team takes instruction well and they are eager to learn.
“I think that benefits us on the field,” she adds. “I will make a suggestion to a pitcher and they will try it so that’s always a positive. They are very coachable.”
She added that her team has had some base running miscues, something they are working to correct.
“That has cost us a couple of times,” Carnes explains. “We have been pushing lately (to correct our hitting as well). We are starting to do that better.”