By Chris Parsons
With no seniors expected to be in his starting lineup this season, youth seems to be the theme in the Corbin Lady Redhounds camp.
Head coach Chris Hart said he’ll have to look to his juniors for leadership this season on the field, but the good news is that one of those juniors is an All-State pitcher, who’s also his daughter, in Hannah Hart.
Hannah Hart isn’t the only one the pressure will be on though. Lindsey Barton, Kelly Farley and Whitley Gatliff all had to step in as sophomores last season to fill a void left by three graduating seniors from the 2011 season, two of which (Callie Hendrickson and Morgan Brock) went on to play softball at the collegiate level.
Hart said the pressure would again be on that group from the word go, but he expects them to respond.
“They’re not seniors, but they have some experience in the fact they had to come in and fill the shoes that a couple of our kids left in 2011,” Hart said. “Because of that, I call them my four captains and I really expect them to build on what they were able to do last season as well as the experience of having to come in and play after the type of kids we saw graduate.”
If the Lady Redhounds hope to top last season’s 20-16 mark, they’ll have to play well against 13th Region teams as well as teams from across the state. With 41 games on the schedule, 24 of those are against teams in their region. They’ll also play teams such as Somerset, Russell, Montgomery County, Rockcastle County, Tates Creek, Harrison County, Henry Clay and George Rogers Clark.
Last season, Corbin averaged 4.3 runs per game, while allowing 3.6 rpg. With a differential of less than one run per game, Hart said he knows both his offense and defense will have to hold their own if the Lady Redhounds hope to win its share of games.
“We have a tough early season schedule to contend with, but that’s part of the game,” Hart said. “We’ll have to play well on both sides of the ball if we want to win some of those games.
“I think our hitting will be better this season because we’ve worked real hard on improving in that area,” he added. “Defensively, we’re going to have some holes to fill, but with Hannah (Hart) pitching, she’ll be able to help us out. She finished really strong for us last season and being All-State is going to help her confidence, so that’s going to help us a lot.”