Woodland girls shining bright on softball diamond
By C.R. Cumbee
Dorchester—The Woodland softball team has gotten out to an amazing start to the 2017 season. The Wolverines are 8-0-1 and captured a tournament title with a victory over Holly Hill Academy. Head coach Rendy Yates’ team is also 3-0 in region play with games against Whale Branch and North Charleston on the horizon.
“We knew we had a good corps of girls from last year that were coming back along with some promising girls that were coming into the program. When we changed to a new region, we felt like things could go in our favor. Our girls certainly have the potential to compete well,” assistant coach Stephanie Yates said.
Woodland is a younger team with no seniors on the roster. However, they have gotten contributions from juniors Sheridan Ardis and Amelia Fineran, and sophomores Brianna Wilson and Caitlynn Creel.
“They all work well together, but our sophomores and juniors have really stepped up. Sheridan and Amelia have both been in the program since they were in the seventh grade. They know the flow of things and the way things go. Caitlynn and Brianna are great influences on the field as well,” said Yates.
Ardis and Wilson have handled the pitching duties and will also see time at second base when not inside the circle. Fineran is the everyday catcher and Creel leads the infield at shortstop.
Freshman Haley Duncan starts at third base while junior Brianna Esteppe and eighth-grader Ansley Connelly split the reps at first base. In the outfield, junior China White is in left with eighth-grader Emma Dantzler in center. Right field has been a revolving door as Kelli Grace, Dakota Lechance and Reagan Thurston all have gotten action.
“Our defense has really been doing a great job this year. Bri and Sheridan have different pitching styles, but they both have come through when we needed them to. And the girls seem to be hitting the ball better against competitive teams this year. We’re really proud of the progress we’ve made,” said Yates.
Other players on the roster this season include Kassidy Baldwin, Josie Fineran, Kimani Green, Maggie Limehouse and Kelsie Wells.