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Central High School

Central Softball Starting Seven Seniors Led By Pitching Arm Of Hannah Killough

By Billy G. Baker


 PagelandCentral High School softball coach Eddie “Pop” Rivers spent most of his career coaching successful teams across the border in North Carolina but last season he coached up the Lady Eagles to a 24-5 record and deep run in the AA playoffs.

“We have seven seniors who will start for us this season,” said Coach Rivers. “We have a two- time all-state pitcher who led the AA classification in strike-outs last season. We have newcomers who will have an immediate impact. If there is a weakness is that we have only one pitcher with varsity experience.”

The challenge entering the 2020 season is finding step up replacement players for two key graduation losses in speedy center fielder Chesney Miller who batted .453 and was an HSSR all-state performer along with HSSR all-state shortstop Leah Stegall who batted .341 with 20 RBI’s including a .889 fielding average.

The Lady Eagles have no doubt who will be in the circle for them this year throwing pitches once again. Senior Hannah Killough won 24 games last year, fashioned a 2.05 ERA while striking out 249 batters in 167.2 innings of work. As a hitter she batted .317 with 12 home runs and 30 RBI’s.

Coach Rivers says Killough is the top AA pitcher in the state and her stats certainly back up his feelings. He also calls junior first baseman Leah Evans (L-L) one of the top junior prospects in the state. Evans batted .380 with 14 RBI’s last season. The Eagles return a solid player at second base in Karly Kirkley who batted .362 a year ago 19 RBI’s and six doubles.

Other players who should start including junior catcher Lanie Duvall who has an excellent arm and bat and she has great speed. Senior Amber Leaird is a utility player who can play anywhere as the team needs her. Senior Payton Evans steps up to replace Stegall and Coach Rivers says she has excellent range at sort with a big bat also. Senior Mackenzie Kral will play third this season

The outfield will be patrolled by speedy 8th grader Karley Eubanks (L-L) and Coach Rivers says” she is going to be a great player.” Sophomore Kyleigh Hough will be in left field and senior Mykira Joines (L-L) will handle duties in right field. Akaya Joines is a freshman utility performer who is a top reserve with excellent speed. The team’s number two pitcher is sophomore Trinity Eason.

The team will begin the regular season on March 9 with an away game against Weddington High in Matthews, N.C. The Lady Eagles are at Lee Central High on March 10 for a double header starting at 5 p.m. Central is at Forest Hills, N.C. on March 12. Their much anticipated first home game will be on March, 13 against Lewisville.


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