The Glen Rose Lady Tigers softball team didn’t have massive graduation losses last spring, and the nine returning lettermen show signs of good things to come in 2019 — despite their youth.
The Lady Tigers began the season with a starting lineup that included three freshmen, three sophomores, one junior and two seniors, head coach Kiel Miller noted.
“It’s been a while since we’ve been that young, but they are a talented group,” said Miller, who had three sophomores who started last season, when the Lady Tigers were 3-9 in district play and 8-12 overall.
The Lady Tigers were 1-3-1 in the Brock Tournament, then won two of five games in the annual Glen Rose Hannah Morales Memorial Tournament.
“We’re hitting the ball with power pretty well,” Miller said. “We’ve got some girls that have played a lot of softball outside high school. We’ve got several that play almost year-round.
“Right now our goal is to win the district championship, and to do that we have to beat Brownwood.”
Tatum Stegint, who earned honorable mention in the all-district voting last season, returns for her fourth year as a starter and provides a powerful bat to drive in runs. She will be playing catcher and third base, depending on the situation.
Another player who could play a key role in run production is junior Belle McDonald, a move-in from Keller. She slugged three home runs early this season already.
Last spring, pitcher/first baseman Taylor McKenzie earned second-team all-district honors for GRHS as a freshman. Another returnee from the all-district list a year ago is Kaylee McDonald, who is now a sophomore.
Courtney Morris, a senior right-hander who has been a starting pitcher since her freshman year, provides much-needed experience. She can also play second base when not pitching.
Addison Nance, a freshman right-hander, should add even more pitching depth.
“We’ve got some strong pitchers,” Miller noted. “Courtney’s got lots of experience, and these two young ones will be pretty salty.”
Miller said that will allow him to mix up his pitching options and go with the player who is playing the best.
Other key hitters will be freshman shortstop Kaycee Bock, junior designated player Kennedy Bunt.
In the Brock round robin tournament, the Lady Tigers lost to Brock, Class 6A Keller Central and Class 5A Azle. They tied 5A Amarillo Tascosa, then finished with a victory over 5A Canyon Randall.
After defeating Lake Worth 15-0 on Feb. 18, the Lady Tigers hosted their Hannah Morales Memorial tournament, Feb. 21-23. After losses to Venus and Paradise on the first day and a loss to Dublin the next day, the Lady Tigers beat Jacksboro 7-1, then closed out the tournament with a 10-0 win over Tolar.
On Feb. 25 in a singled game, the Lady Tigers improved to 7-6-1 with another dominant win over Tolar, 21-11.
Glen Rose is in District 7-4A in softball, with Brownwood, Godley, Mineral Wells and Stephenville. The Lady Tigers will kick off district play on March 19 at Brownwood.