Brookland-Cayce expects to have yet another strong softball season in 2009. The Bearcats return five position starters, two staring pitchers and four additional letter winners from a team that went 28-10 last year and made their usual deep run in the Class 3A state playoffs.
“I anticipate fielding a very competitive team,” said veteran B-C coach Richard Lundy. “We stress pitching and defense and I feel we will be strong in these areas again this year. Four of our top five hitters, run scorers, and RBI leaders return which, hopefully, bodes well for our offensive production. In addition, we are counting on a number of our younger experience to contribute offensively this year.”
B-C shared the Region 4-3A pennant last season with Midland Valley, entered the playoffs as the region’s No. 2 seed, won a district championship by coming through the loser’s bracket to beat defending state champion St. James twice in the finals and went 1-2 in the Lower State championship tournament. The Bearcats are in the same region this season, though it is now designated Region 5-3A.
“I anticipate battling Midland Valley for the top spot again this year, but Airport could surprise as they showed marked improvement last year,” said Lundy. “With the additions of Dreher and South Aiken the region should be very competitive.”
The top returning Bearcats include freshman pitcher Chandler Terrapin, junior third baseman Alex White, senior second baseman Marquitta Wilson, junior catcher Ashlyn Hicks, senior shortstop Casey Corbitt and sophomore center fielder M.C. Smith.
Terrapin, entering her third year as the mainstay of the rotation, became an ace last season, going 26-9 with a 1.30 ERA and 243 strikeouts in 209.1 innings of work.
White, who is entering her fifth season as a starter, batted .383 with 25 runs scored, 30 RBIs11 doubles and two home runs last season. Wilson, Hicks and Corbitt are all entering their third seasons as starters. Wilson, hit .392 with 30 runs and 14 RBIs in 2008. Hicks sported a .474 batting average with 35 runs, 15 RBIs, 15 doubles and three triples a year ago. Corbitt, a slick fielder, hit .262 with 12 runs and 11 RBIs last spring. White batted .273 and scored 14 runs in her first season as a starter.
Junior Ciara Mathews and sophomore Alexis Lucas are the new faces in the starting lineup. Lucas, a reserve last season, takes over at first base, and is the No. 2 pitcher. Mathews, called up from the junior varsity for the playoffs last season, is the starter in right field. The left field job is still up for grabs.
Senior Cortesia Taylor, junior Rachel Rucker and sophomore Danielle Jolly are other returning letter winners in the mix.
Brookland-Cayce opens the season on March 10 at home against defending SCISA champion Cardinal Newman.