A heartbreaking end to last season is being counted on as motivation this year for the Lady Indians, who lost 1-0 to Pepperell in the Region 7-2A tournament when a win would have clinched one of the league’s four berths in the Class 2A state playoffs.
“We still have a sour taste in our mouths,” said Murray County coach Sandra Johnston, a 1985 graduate of the school who enters her fifth season as coach still looking for her first postseason appearance.
Murray County’s bid for a state berth comes against region competition that includes perennial power Calhoun and 2012 champion Dade County. This year, 7-2A will not be divided into sub-regions and the Lady Indians will play a full region schedule.
The revenge-minded Lady Indians, who went 13-14 in 2012, return seven starters from last year’s roster.
“We have a lot of experience,” Johnston said. “We return some excellent players.”
Lindsey Dunn and Whitney Gribble, both sophomore right-handers, will share duties in the circle.
“We feel good about our pitching,” Johnston said. “They’re both solid pitchers.”
When not pitching, Dunn or Gribble will be at second base.
“I also feel good about our hitting,” Johnston said. “We have some players who can really hit.”
Junior shortstop Shea Pendley, sophomore catcher Aubrie Osborne and junior third baseman Ashlee Strong are expected to lead the hitters. Caitlyn Sims, the Lady Indians’ lone senior, is at first base.
Pendley earned all-area honors last season after she hit .425 — she collected 14 extra-base hits — and compiled a .516 on-base percentage. She also stole 20 bases, scored 27 runs and drove in 38.
Experience in the outfield comes from juniors Ariel Smith and Cassidy Callahan and sophomores LeAnn Bunch and Ashley Harrison. They are joined by freshmen Kimberly Roberts, Ashlyn Sims and Lindsey Waldroop.