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2020 High School Softball Preview
By Chelsea Ladd
WESTERN KENTUCKY - Ladies and gentlemen, the time has come when the cleats are laced and the bases are dusted off with the last goodbyes of winter. Softball is here and this is what you can expect from the fast pitch ladies of Region 1. 

Marshall County
The Lady Marshals are a force to be reckoned with and are looking for their third straight regional title. Many key players are returning for the 2020 season including juniors Gabbi Lovett, Presley Jezik, and Cayson Conner. Lovett posted an ERA of 2.40 in 186.2 IP last season. Jezik led her team with 34 runs, 57 hits, 30 RBI and a .429 batting average. Conner fell right behind Jezik with 32 runs, 45 hits, 22 RBI and a .388 batting average. Marshall County beat Graves County in the 1st Region Championship last May and look to find themselves crowned victorious at the end of the KHSAA Fast Pitch Softball State Tournament this season. 
Last season’s record: 27-14

Hickman County
The Lady Falcons will be looking to finish the season as strong as they did in 2019. With the second-best record in the 1st Region, Hickman County has a few key players capable of leading them to a title. The key players to watch: junior Bella Batts, sophomore Jacey Rushing, sophomore Rancey Skaggs, and senior Gracie Lusk. Batts finished her 2019 season with 32 runs, 59 hits, 45 RBI, and a .500 batting average. Rushing finished season with an ERA of 2.09 in 127.1 IP, she also finished with 27 runs, 40 hits, 18 RBI and a .354 batting average. Skaggs finished her season with 40 runs, 54 hits, 28 RBI and a .486 batting average. Lusk finished her season with an ERA of 4.43 in 74.1 IP as well as finishing with 40 runs, 51 hits, 39 RBI and a .447 batting average.
Last season’s record: 24-11

McCracken County
The Lady Mustangs have always been a title favorite and 2020 will be no different for them. The key players to watch this season are: sophomore Ariel Fox, junior Ashby Murt, and senior Natalie Lang. Fox led her team with 41 runs, 59 hits, 32 RBI and a .450 batting average. Murt followed behind with 25 runs, 37 hits, 26 RBI and a .346 batting average. Lang finished her season strong on the mound with an ERA of 2.14 in 55.2 IP, she also had four hits and a .286 batting average. 
Last season’s record: 23-14

Graves County
The Lady Eagles finished strong behind the previously mentioned teams. While the season ended before the girls would have liked, this year could be the year for Graves with a strong core of players back. Key players to watch this season: seniors Maddie Lynn, Bailey Wilson, Cassidy Payne and Rilee Green. 2019 statistics were unavailable. Graves County fell to Marshall County Lady Marshals in the 1ST Region Championship last May and will be looking to rewrite history this season. 
Last season’s record: 21-14


Calloway County
The Lady Lakers will be looking to get above the hump and have a winning record this season. Falling behind McCracken and Graves County in the standings, the girls are looking to take advantage of any moment they can find. Key players to watch this season: senior Paige Kramer, sophomore Adison Hicks, and senior Jaelyn Phillips. Kramer finished the 2019 season with 20 runs, 34 hits, 19 RBI and a .370 batting average. Hicks finished her season with 24 runs, 33 hits, 17 RBI and a .379 batting average. Phillips finished her season the mound with an ERA of 4.10 in 56.1 IP as well as 26 runs, 32 hits, 19 RBI and a .340 batting average. 
Last season’s record: 16-18

Paducah Tilghman
The Lady Tornado has risen from the ashes of decades past and looking to soar past their opponents. Key players to watch over the 2020 season: senior Keiler Belt, senior Emma Massey, and sophomore Rosie Minter. Belt had 15 runs, 30 hits, 23 RBI and a .294 batting average last season. Massey finished her season with 20 runs, 37 runs, 16 RBI and a .359 batting average. Minter finished the season with 20 runs, 30 hits, 18 RBI and a .283 batting average.
Last season’s record: 14-19

Christian Fellowship
The Lady Eagles fell behind Paducah Tilghman in standings last season and will be looking to leapfrog the Tornado this year. Key players to watch this season: freshman Jayden Jackson, senior Edie Little, and senior Jaycie Jackson. Jackson (freshman) ended her season with 34 runs, 37 hits, 20 RBI and a .463 batting average, as well as an ERA of 16.46 in 12.1 IP as a middle schooler. Little ended the season with 27 runs, 35 hits, 24 RBI and a .493 batting average, as well as an ERA of 22.91 in 7.1 IP. Jackson (senior) finished the season with 21 runs, 30 hits, 20 RBI and a .361 batting average as well as earning an 8.07 ERA in a total of 111.0 IP. 
Last season’s record: 13-17

Carlisle County
The Lady Comets have the essentials needed to win and going into 2020, it looks like they will put all together and do some damage to their opponents. Key players to watch this season: sophomore Maddison Wright, freshman Karlie Gibson, and freshman Rhianna Thomason. Wright finished her 2019 season with 15 runs, 26 hits, 17 RBI and a .400 batting average. Gibson finished with 12 runs, 22 hits, 19 RBI and a .400 batting average. Thomason finished with six runs, 21 hits, 15 RBI and a .356 batting average as well as posting a 4.98 ERA as a middle schooler in 71.2 IP. 
Last season’s record: 12-15

Murray 
The Lady Tigers are looking to earn a winning record this season and have the right tools to do such. Key players to watch this season: seniors Calli Carver and Brooklyn Feagin. 2019 statistics for Murray High School were unavailable but look for big things with this team in 2020. 
Last season’s record: 11-17

Ballard Memorial
The Lady Bombers might have finished 10-20 in 2019 but look for this team to succeed this season. Key players to watch: junior Madison Nichols, freshman Abby Cooper, and 8th grader Allison Enfinger. Nichols finished the season with 29 runs, 42 hits, 10 RBI and a .442 batting average. Cooper finished her season on the mound with an ERA of 6.11 in 115.2 IP and 28 runs, 31 hits, and 16 RBI with a .356 batting average. Enfinger finished her season with 22 runs, 29 hits, 15 RBI and a .299 batting average. 
Last season’s record: 10-20

St. Mary
The Lady Vikings are a very young team going into the 2020 season and fans can watch the young ladies grow together as the years tick by and wins begin to pile up. Key players to watch: sophomore Trinity Higgins, freshman Anistyn Thomas, and freshman Kaitlynn Burrus. Higgins finished the 2019 season with 15 runs, 27 hits, five RBI and a .614 batting average as well as an ERA of 6.19 in 37.1 IP. Thomas finished with 14 runs, 18 hits, 11 RBI and a .486 batting average. Burrus finished her season with 14 runs, 17 hits, seven RBI and a .333 batting average as well as an ERA of 8.49 in 47.0 IP.
Last season’s record: 4-11

Mayfield
The Lady Cardinals are another young team with lots of potential. Despite the 2019 record, the ladies of Mayfield definitely have what it takes to be a surprising underdog this season. Key players to watch this season: senior Desiree Thomas, junior Hayley Sullivan, and 8th grader Jo Jo Fox. Thomas finished her season on the mound with an ERA of 6.15 in 68.1 IP as well as 12 runs, 18 hits, 19 RBI and a .367 batting average. Sullivan finished her season with 12 runs, 15 hits, two RBI and a .283 batting average. Fox finished her season with 15 runs, 13 hits, 12 RBI and a .361 batting average as well as an ERA of 7.00 in 6.0 IP. 
Last season’s record: 4-15

Fulton City
The Lady Bulldogs are also on the young team radar with lots of potential in years to come. Key players to watch this season: senior Sherrell Walker, junior Jada Martin, and Brittany Pirtle. While 2019 statistics were unavailable, the Lady Bulldogs could definitely surprise everyone this season. 
Last season’s record: 2-12

Fulton County
The Lady Pilots have a lot of things to prove this season and truthfully, the girls can do it.  Key players to watch: 8th grader Kylee Hammond, sophomore DeAyria Kinney, and junior Mia Amberg. Hammond finished her season with six runs, 11 hits, one RBI and a .262 batting average. Kinney finished her season with two runs, four hits, three RBI and a .114 batting average. Amberg finished her season with four runs, three hits, four RBI and a .091 batting average. 
Last season’s record: 1-17


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Published 11:49 AM, Wednesday Mar. 11, 2020
Updated 06:47 PM, Sunday Mar. 22, 2020

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