PG’s Col­lom looks for­ward to work­ing with soft­ball team

Texarkana Gazette - - SPORTS - By Brian Tyl

Youth is a dou­ble-edged sword in sports; new en­ergy is re­fresh­ing, but lack of ex­pe­ri­ence could prove costly.

Pleas­ant Grove firstyear head soft­ball coach Becca Col­lom is ready to face the chal­lenges. Col­lom was the as­sis­tant head coach last year.

The Lady Hawks went 28-4 last sea­son and fell just one win short of the Class 4A soft­ball cham­pi­onship in Austin. Pleas­ant Grove fell to North La­mar in the re­gional fi­nals.

“It's a to­tally dif­fer­ent team from last year,” Col­lom said. “We lost five se­niors, and we are young. We have a bunch of young, hard work­ing kids. We'll have a lot more speed on the base paths, and they're ath­letic and quick.” Khadi­jah Ori­tola, who starts in the out­field, and Sky­lar Lewis are the two lone Lady Hawk se­niors. Faith Dossey, a ju­nior, is the only other up­per­class­man.

Ori­tola was a first team all-dis­trict se­lec­tion last sea­son and is one of five re­turn­ers.

“Khadi­jah is very pow­er­ful and consistent at the plate,” the new PG head coach said. “She has got­ten more men­tally tough, and I'm look­ing for her to be a sta­ple in the lineup.

“Sky­lar is a great kid who works hard, is pos­i­tive, and has a good at­ti­tude.”

The other re­turn­ers are sopho­mores Madi­son Allen, Emily Hil­ton, Kristin Key, Hanna Sny­der, and Kaylee Kel­ley.

Allen was a des­ig­nated player and pinch hit­ter, while Hil­ton, Sny­der, and Key got in a lot of play­ing time. Kel­ley got ex­pe­ri­ence late in the sea­son as a cour­tesy run­ner.

Key will be the main start­ing pitcher for the Hawks. Key, a sopho­more, has a lot of move­ment on her throws, works the count, and is good at field­ing. She also brings a pres­ence to the plate.

“I am ex­cited to see Kristin de­velop,” Col­lom said. “I think it will be a fun sea­son once we get rolling. We'll prob­a­bly sur­prise some peo­ple, and I couldn't ask for a bet­ter group.”

Pleas­ant Grove opens up its sea­son to­day at Lady Hawk Field against Spring Hill (Ark.) at 6 p.m.

K. ORI­TOLA

H. SNY­DER

K. KEY

B. COL­LOM

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