By Kyle Lovern
Mingo Central head softball coach Chad Varney enters his second season after taking over the Lady Miners program.
Varney has a few returning players this spring and several younger players. He hopes the squad can win more games than they have in the first couple of years.
“In my first year as head softball coach at Mingo Central, it was an eye opening experience for me. I have to say MCHS plays in the hardest conference,” Varney said. MCHS plays in the Cardinal Conference “Playing Wayne, Herbert Hoover, Chapmanville, Scott, Poca and Tolsia. Between those high schools you can credit many state championships. “
“Starting this year, I see some faces from last year that I am looking for leadership from - such as my seniors Kristyn Johnson and Tiffany Cottle. Last year we had eight seniors now just two this year that played a lot during the 2013 season,” Varney said. “This season we will have back also a key in the lineup with the hitting of junior Kiearia Hammond. I see some young faces that worked hard during the off season and grew up over the year.”
Varney mentioned junior Natalie Hagy, junior Brittany Stiltner, sophomore Kara Lester and sophomore Haley Johnson. “These girls saw some action last season as I played younger players for the future. We have 14 freshman this year that will be helping a lot on the diamond this season,” Varney said.
“I expect a battle for some positions this year as it has started from day one. Kara Lester is returning as pitcher after last season being broke into action fast. She has grown up over the summer and looking forward to this season. I think Elizabeth Hatfield (a senior) will help on the mound this year. I have three freshmen: Kamry Collins, Reanna Acord and Seanna Starr also throwing this year in games. I see light at the end of the tunnel with pitching.”
Hammond is returning as a catcher, and her back-up is freshman Noel (Gracie) Sparks. At 1st base Cottle is making the switch from 2nd base, where she played last year. Freshmen Mollie Ferguson and Brandi Rawls are back-ups. Starting at 2nd base will be either junior Haley Johnson or Brittany Stiltner, who have been battling it out in practice. Returning at shortstop is Johnson, with her back-up being Collins. At 3rd base will be a new face in freshman Makenna Pinson. Her back-up is freshmen Bobbi Varney and Brianna Cook. In the outfield Varney has some spots open. Right field position will be open to anyone at this time. Freshmen Alyssa Trent, Kalyn Baisden, Briana Carter, Allison Heath and Destiny Fouch could all see action. In center field right now is Elizabeth Hatfield, in battle for playing time with senior Mckayla Meade and freshman Seanna Starr. The left fielder is junior Natalie Hagy who is making the move from right field where she started last year. The reserve in left field will be sophomore Tori Varney.
“I would just like to say these girls have worked hard every day and I want to see each of them get better as a person. This squad could be the first group in school history to win 10 games in a season,” Varney said. “I would love for them to get that many wins. I would like to see new faces and fans out and support these girls.”
Once again the team will play its home games at the Delbarton field.
“This year is already a different year, as the young Lady Miners know, I expect 110 percent each time out. I told the young lady’s to play hard and play as a team. I don’t expect to have a perfect record, but we should have a goal and right now our goal is to get better each time out. We will focus on one game at a time and I see these young Lady Miners shaking up the Cardinal Conference this year by letting them know that we are here to play in 2014,” Varney concluded.
2014 MCHS Schedule
3/21/14 5:30 pm H Sissonville -
3/22/14 12:00 pm H River View -
3/24/14 05:00 pm H Tug Valley -
3/25/14 05:30 pm H Scott -
3/26/14 05:30 pm A Chapmanville -
3/28/14 05:30 pm A Tolsia -
3/29/14 01:00 pm H Phelps, Ky.
3/29/14 04:00 pm H Phelps, Ky.
4/01/14 05:30 pm H Cross Lanes Christian -
4/02/14 05:30 pm H Chapmanville -
4/04/14 05:00 pm H Mount View -
4/07/14 05:00 pm A Tug Valley -
4/11/14 05:30 pm A Herbert Hoover -
4/11/14 07:00 pm A Herbert Hoover -
4/12/14 12:00 pm H Wayne -
4/12/14 02:00 pm H Wayne -
4/14/14 04:00 pm A Cross Lanes Christian -
4/15/14 05:00 pm A Poca -
4/15/14 07:00 pm A Poca -
4/17/14 05:30 pm A Scott -
4/18/14 06:00 pm A Pikeville, Ky.
4/19/14 03:15 pm A Belfry, Ky.
4/19/14 11:45 am A Perry Central, Ky.
4/23/14 05:30 pm H Tolsia
4/25/14 05:30 pm A Sissonville
4/28/14 06:00 pm H Pikeville, Ky.
4/29/14 05:30 pm A Mount View
Noel (Gracie) Sparks
(Kyle Lovern is the Sports Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 304-235-4242, ext. 33)