WINNSBORO — The Lady Griffins are counting on four seniors to solidify a young team this 2013 softball season.
Rebekah Boyd, Ashle’ Bates and Triona Parnell bring a wealth of experience to the diamond while senior Shontavia Robinson brings a solid mix of athleticism and a mature body to add to the mix.
Head softball coach Carolyn Connely is in her second year at the helm at FCHS and likes the moxie of this group. She has some talented girls coming up from the J.V. team, a squad she says is a young group of athletes coming up that will be turning some heads.
Connely said Robinson has the bat speed and potential to lead the team in hitting this year, though a lot of other young players are vying for playing time and contributing.
“Last year we had two strong pitchers in Triona Parnell and Tayeisha Jackson, and they are coming back this year with a new passion and mental strength that will help us win games,” she said. “Our main goal this season is to become a disciplined team with a strong mental game that will keep us anchored in rocky situations. We have some very talented underclassmen stepping up to help us this year and I can see their confidence building every day. I’m excited to be working with these young girls.”
Defense should be a team strength. She said they have some quick girls in Daijah Gaither, Katelyn Haney, A’Kierrah Marshall and Shontavia Robinson who will anchor the defense up the middle.
“As long as we can remain focused on the field, we will be able to stop anything that comes at us,” Connely said.
She is preaching teamwork to this group and emphasizing situations, such as when to steal, slide or call for a ball, as well as communication skills.
“I have told these girls that they cannot WANT something without putting in the WORK,” she said. “That is what we have to do this season — decide what we really want and dedicate ourselves to that decision.”
The biggest challenges the team will have this year is playing as a mentally strong and disciplined team.
She hopes the exposure to softball will lead to more opportunities for these young ladies in the sport.