New Albany has a new coach and a new mind set heading into the 2010 slow pitch season.
NAHS athletic director Shane Sanderson has taken the reins of the Lady ‘Dawgs program and has a young, but talented team taking the field this season.
Led by seniors Ellen Tarrant, Brooke Sides and Carrie Spenser, NAHS hopes to make a push for the playoffs.
“We have three talented seniors who we hope will continue to play well and step up,” Sanderson said. “We’re young, but we have a good group and are coming off a good summer season. It’s exciting, and we have a lot to look forward to.”
Along with his seniors, Sanderson also has a talented sophomore class, including Morgan and Mallory Beaty, Shannon Goode and Kayla Pavlick, all of which can be game changers.
“It’s nice to have the strong sophomore class we have because I have the ability to move them around to several positions,” Sanderson said. “Morgan and Mallory are both coming off a good summer campaign and played really well, so I’m looking for them to step up.
Juniors Jalanna Cameron and Amber Mirfield round out the returning starters for the Lady ‘Dawgs. Cameron, along with freshman Lauren Cavender, are looking to fill the vacant spot in the circle with NAHS losing Kelsey Hodges to graduation.
“I’ve been very impressed with Lauren, and she has a good stick, which is helping her chances of earning the starting spot,” Sanderson said. “Jalanna has also pitched well for us this summer, but I would like to keep her at first. Lauren is a good fit, so hopefully her bat will keep up as well.”
Like all area teams, the main focus is making the playoffs, and for Sanderson’s squad, it will mean that much more for the seniors, who want to share in that experience in their final year.
“Ellen and Brooke have played since the seventh grade, and they have started most of those years,” he explained. “It’s our number one goal to make the playoffs and give these seniors that experience, but right now we have to focus on getting there, then there will be a different speech to give the girls after that.”
NAHS will play in the Myrtle preseason tournament and open their 2010 campaign at Corinth on Aug. 17.