Lady Gators seek title
By Ronald Frazier
Despite only having three seniors on the squad Glenwood’s Lady Gators have only one goal for 2017, win a third straight class AAA softball championship in May. Those three seniors for head coach Dusty Perdue are co-captains for this year’s team and will play an integral role in Glenwood’s team success. Those three seniors are Parker Slappey at second, McKenna Gillespie, infield-pitcher and catcher Kirsten Reynolds.
Glenwood’s battery mates of Gillespie to Reynolds were important in the last two years of the Lady Gators taking home the state crown. The Lady Gators lost two seniors from last year’s squad, Sara Kate Smith at first and outfielder Kinsey Brown, who signed to played at Central Alabama College after her high school career was completed.
But Gillespie set a school record for strikeouts last year and Reynolds was the tournament MVP and joined Slappey, Gillespie and Hope Gullatt on the all-tournament team. Reynolds led the team in home runs but got plenty of power from Gullatt as well.
Other school records the Lady Gators set in 2016 were most wins in a single season (50) and the highest team batting average in school history despite having only two seniors. Many of the young starters from 2016 have game experience under their belt as well as some players that filled in and pinch hit.
Pitcher Carle Hampton was a double digit winner and when she was on the mound, Gillespie played short stop. Ashley Gallant, still only a sophomore, also saw action on the mound and was a regular in the field.
The Lady Gators have three new freshmen that should also add depth to the talent rich Lady Gators, Taylor Johnson, Lacie Pelt and Hayden Evans. Another newcomer is junior Kamren Bence who will be playing infield.
Sophomores Morgan Grant and Sophie Wilkerson both played extensively last year and will see playing time along with 8th grade starter in the outfield who is now a freshman, Neely Austin. Austin hit .300 in her first year of varsity play.
Up from the junior varsity from last year will be Lela Childs and Anna Perdue and both will be able to play in the infield and outfield.
Glenwood will get a good measure of their current success as they will host three-time class AA state champion Macon East at Glenwood’s field. The Lady Knights were the only team with a winning record against Glenwood.
Following the Macon East game, the Lady Gators will travel to Abbeville, Ala., for two games on Feb. 20.