Starkville Daily News - - SCORE­CARD -

As slow pitch sea­son now is right around the cor­ner, Ber­ry­hill is hop­ing he has some play­ers step in to fill the void left by the re­cent grad­u­a­tion of Davis, Mari-Todd Brown and Emily Na­son.

“Each year you have to re­place the se­niors that you lost and we lost a good se­nior group this year,” Ber­ry­hill said. “They did a great job for us. they were good lead­ers and good ball play­ers and they car­ried us. It's hard to re­place them. You just have to work to re­place them and each year ju­niors and se­niors have to do that.

“Curt­lyn Blake, Syd­ney Dew­berry and Josie Reed

are our only three se­niors and we have two ju­niors. They've got to be lead­ers and not just role play­ers.”

Last sea­son saw East Web­ster fight through some early ad­ver­sity with a 1-3 start to pro­duce a strong sec­ond half. It rolled off 10-straight wins and won 19 of 21 games go­ing into the play­offs.

Even­tu­ally, the Lady Wolver­ines made it to within just two games of a state ti­tle trip. They lost to Hamil­ton, which was a team that beat them four times last year in their 21-8 sea­son. Sev­eral of those play­ers are sea­soned af­ter that sea­son and the fast pitch sea­son and will be ready for the com­pe­ti­tion in a tough Class I, Re­gion 4 district that in­cludes

Hamil­ton, Var­daman, Houlka, Bruce, Cal­houn City and Okolona.

The pre slate ahead of those games will be just as chal­leng­ing as Ber­ry­hill likes to have his play­ers ready for the chal­lenge. East Web­ster starts the sea­son in a jam­boree at Neshoba Cen­tral where it plays the na­tion's best soft­ball team in the Lady Rock­ets and also Philadel­phia, which knocked the Lady Wolver­ines out of the fast pitch play­offs ear­lier this year.

“Our sched­ule is usu­ally pretty good and our con­fer­ence sched­ule is good,” Ber­ry­hill said. “I just kind of mix that sched­ule in with cham­pi­onship teams and other teams to give us a test. You've got to

keep work­ing ev­ery day. You want to play bet­ter teams early to find out what you've got and where you want to be. We're play­ing to be the best team in Class 2A.”

East Web­ster be­gins the sea­son in that jam­boree on Au­gust 4 and also play in the Eu­pora Clas­sic on Au­gust 11.

While prac­tices haven't be­gun to this point, the play­ers have been pre­par­ing for soft­ball most of the sum­mer.

“Some of them have been com­ing in with coach (Ken­neth) Wade and work­ing with him on lessons,” Ber­ry­hill said. “Some of them have been play­ing travel ball for the sum­mer. You don't know un­til you get them all to­gether, but we're look­ing for­ward to it.”

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