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Holly Hill Academy High School

Lockey impressed with young Holly Hill Academy softball team

 

By David Shelton

Senior Writer

Holly Hill – Veteran Holly Hill Academy softball coach Henry Lockey never gets too concerned with early season losses. The coach has learned firsthand it’s not how you start but how you finish.

Lockey admits to being somewhat impressed and surprised with the way his 2019 squad has opened. With a roster full of underclassmen (no seniors), Lockey’s team went 4-4 in their first eight outings of the season. And the coach feels plenty more success is on the way.

“I like this team and its potential,” said Lockey, who entered this season with 390 career wins. “It’s a good group of girls in terms of their attitude and their willingness to work hard. They are willing to improve and willing to learn. It’s a young team but they are coming together pretty well. All of them are competing for playing time and pushing each other so that’s a good sign.”

This year’s team has a handful of returning players but also has mixed in several players from the junior varsity program. Taking on the role as leaders this spring are juniors Abby Montgomery and Hannah Motte, along with sophomore Brooke Fennessy. Montgomery is the starting shortstop while Motte returns at first base. Fennessy is the team’s number one pitcher and leadoff hitter.

“The leadership was a concern from day one because we didn’t have any seniors so we wondered where it would come from,” Lockey said. “We’ve had four or five step up into that role. Even some of the younger ones are working to keep everyone on the same page.”

Lockey says Montgomery will see some time in the pitching circle, along with eighth-grader Juliann Grooms and sophomore centerfielder Halle Motte.

Sophomore Madison Steele returns to work behind the plate this spring. Eighth-grader Dakota Canterbury is up from the junior varsity and plays third base while Grooms is handling duties at second base.

 Sophomore Lanie Hopkins is working in left. Also seeing time in the outfield are freshman Erin Pratt, and eighth-graders Lauren Atkinson and Karsyn Smoak.

Lockey says the team is still improving offensively and feels the bats will start to heat up as the team plays more games. He has been most impressed with his team’s play defensively.

“We’ve been surprisingly good,” he said. “With some eighth-graders out there, you never know how they will respond early but we’ve been very solid defensively. We’re making routine plays and helping our pitchers out. If we can keep that up, and get the bats going, we’re going to be a pretty competitive team. I think the hitting is coming. We’re not striking out much so that’s a good sign. Just keep putting balls in play and they will find a hole eventually.”

Holly Hill opened its region schedule on March 19th against Jefferson Davis Academy.

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