TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local Sports

March 12, 2013

Team to Beat

North Laurel enters 2013 season ranked fifth in state

NORTH LAUREL — After an impressive run in 2012 that ended with a 9-8 loss to Lone Oak in the state tournament, this year’s version of the North Laurel Lady Jaguars softball team has some unfinished business.

The Lady Jaguars come into the 2013 season not only as the team to beat in the 13th Region, but as the No. 5 team in the state behind (in order) Owensboro Catholic, Mercy, Greenwood and Scott County.

As if the high ranking and last year’s state tournament run wasn’t enough, North Laurel returns eight starters from last season. With six seniors heading up this year’s squad, Lady Jaguars coach Rogers Strong said expectations may be high this year, but he admitted the work still had to be done.

“We feel real comfortable with the kids we have coming back,” Strong said. “We have eight full-time starters back and a part-time starter, so we have plenty of experience, so we feel like this could really be a special year.

“The thing about it is that trips to the state tournament aren’t just handed to you because you’re ranked high,” he added. “We will have our work cut out for us because you have to go out and win games, but we feel confident that if these kids go out and play the way they are capable of playing, this can be a great season for them.”

The highly touted senior group consists of Megan Baldwin, Sidney Harrell, Blake Johnson, Emily Sears, Vanessa Smith and Farris Strong. The majority of this group has been in the North Laurel program for quite some time. Strong said it’s that dedication that has helped

“Megan (Baldwin) is our number one pitcher and she had an outstanding year last season,” Strong said. “She’s worked hard in the offseason to get better in her off-speed stuff, so we think she can really be good for us this season.

“Our catcher, Blake Johnson, has started for five years behind the plate, which is unusual,” he added. “With her and Megan at the battery, we expect them to hold things down quite well for us.”

With Baldwin pitching, the Lady Jaguars shouldn’t need much defense. Last season, the team only allowed 1.8 runs per game, while the team notched 17 shutouts on the season. In the 12 games against 13th Region foes, the Lady Jaguars held opponents scoreless in eight of them.

Offensively, North Laurel scores 6.8 rpg, setting the tone early and often as 21 of its 38 wins were by five runs or more.

Considering last season’s success, North Laurel goes into the season in a different position than last year. Given the fact the team has had success in the past, Strong said he feels like this year’s team has more of a target on its back compared to last season.

“I feel like we were able to kind of fly under the radar at the state level last season, as far as what was expected,” he said. “After our run in the state tournament, we may be a little more recognized, which means teams are going to be a little more familiar with what we’re doing here.

“The good news is I think our kids can stand up and deal with the pressure of playing well, especially considering our schedule,” he added. “They’re going to have to hit the ground running when the season starts because we have some very tough games early on. Our kids are going to be tested from the start, so by the time postseason rolls around, we’ll know if we have what it takes to get where we want to be.”

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • So Far, So Good: North Laurel Coach Chris Larkey pleased with the way his team is looking

    By Les Dixon
    Staff Writer
    NORTH LAUREL — Chris Larkey’s North Laurel Jaguar football team is coming off one of its best seasons in program history with hopes of continuing its winning ways this fall.

    July 28, 2014

  • The Next Step: Jerry Herron's Williamsburg Yellow Jackets have high hopes of winning a state title

    By Chris Parsons
    Sports Editor
    WILLIAMSBURG — The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets came one win away from bringing home the program’s first ever state championship last season, but a 42-0 loss to Mayfield meant a state title wasn’t in the cards.

    July 28, 2014

  • 0725 BARGER FOR WEB.jpg Ready to Reload

    Even though Knox Central head football coach Scottie Russell has seen the departure of two of the program’s best tailbacks due to graduation in the past two years, he isn’t concerned.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shelton was a hero by any definition

    The word hero is used a little too loosely for my taste these days.
    To be honest, it’s been used way too much for a long time and I’m just as guilty as the next guy.

    July 25, 2014

  • 0724 HANNAH HART THROW FOR WEB.jpg Out With A Bang

    Corbin’s Chris and Hannah Hart ended their Redhound softball careers together, but the duo went out with a bang, each representing Corbin on the Kentucky All Star squad in a three-game series against the Tennessee All Stars.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0724 KY EXPRESS TEAM for web.jpg Express finishes fourth in USSSA World Series

    The Kentucky Express participated in the USSSA World Seriers against teams from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and New York.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0721 CORBIN GROUP FOR WEB.jpg What A Run!

    The Corbin Little League All Stars put together an impressive run to the 2014 Little League State Tournament, but all good things must come to an end.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0707 NORTH 11-12s FOR WEB.jpg Fun While It Lasted

    The North Laurel 11-12 year-old All-Stars finished their trip in Central Region play by dropping a 15-0 decision to Missouri’s Webb City Little League.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0326 whs tennis.jpg Smashing Win

    March 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Whitley County knocks off B'ville, 7-0

    March 28, 2014

Front page
Featured Ads
AP Video
Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Facebook
SEC Times-Tribune