PHENIX CITY, AL- the Lady Pirates of Chattahoochee Valley Community College are playing this season with a bit of a chip on their shoulder. After a disappointing season last year, no one is expecting more from this team than they are. Head Coach Steve O'Steen feels the same about the ladies, saying, "This team is the most talented overall of any team I've coached over my 14 years here at CVCC. All 23 players bring something different to the program, giving us more flexibility and options than ever before."
Of the 23 players on the Lady Pirates this year, 10 are sophomores and are prime examples of what more experience and leadership can bring to a team. "They're having fun out there and their play on the field is a perfect example of that." O'Steen went on to say.
Being led by what is considered to be the best offensive lineup in the school's history, and being backed by a terrific pitching staff, this year should be one for the record books.
"Our offensive expectations are extremely high with a group that has a well-rounded mixture of power, speed, contact, and slap hitting." The Lady Pirates added two big bats to their lineup this year, with the addition of Shelby Holley and Erin Patterson, combined with the power hitting of Jessica Henderson and Katie Poole, the ladies are positive that they will be capable of putting up some runs this year. Add to it the solid hitting and quick moving outfield, this season should be filled with many exciting moments and high scoring games.
Last year, pitching was the main focus of the problems faced by the team, as the ladies just couldn't find a consistent groove all season long. "In previous years, the season depended a lot on the health of one strong pitcher," O'Steen says, "but this year's group of kids gives us a variety of speed, go to pitches and pitching styles." With the return of Katie Hudspeth and the addition of Jessica Hart, Beth Garner, Sarah Posey, and the soon to be returning Samantha Holt, the Lady Pirates feel they have exactly what they need to be confident on the field when it comes to their play on the mound.
Defensively, The Lady Pirates are confident as well, even though they lost a key player at the end of last year's season. "Despite the loss of All League Right Fielder Cassidy Davis last year, we are stronger overall in the outfield with six players competing for time out there.", said O'Steen. Having starting sophomores in the outfield with Megan Lavender and Adrianne Eaddy, alongside the speedy freshman, Whitnei Morgan, the Lady Pirates are as deep and even quicker as they were last year. With the infield being led by sophomores Jessica Henderson, Katie Poole, Shelby Holley, and Avery Carroll, along with freshmen Sadie Eversole and Tori Poss, they feel they have what it takes to be solid in the field.
Needless to say, this year's squad of ladies makes up a noticeably stronger team than that of last year and this year the ladies have come to play. O'Steen ended with saying, "This should be an exciting season as I expect this group will set new records here at CVCC." That is exactly what the Lady Pirates plan to do.
For more information about CVCC athletics, visit cv.edu.
Pictured is Shelby Holley