Versatility gives LHS softball plenty of options
When Lansing High softball coach Terry Cornett looks down this season's roster, he can't help but smile about the possibilities.
He sees so much potential, so many options and so much talent. With that knowledge, Cornett is certain this season will be fun.
"I'm really excited to see what these girls can do," he said. "No doubt I've had about 14 different napkins I've put starting lineups on just trying to figure out who will be strongest where, but I probably won't decide until Monday."
Although no batting lineup has been set, Cornett said he is confident in what all of his players bring to the field. It all starts with having an experienced core of returning seniors in pitcher Dana Sanders, catcher Nichole Twitchel and outfielders Nicole Holland and Jessica Stark.
"With those four, anybody would be happy to have those four on their team," Cornett said. "It gives you a pretty good nucleus."
A fifth senior, Kasey Denney, didn't play for LHS last year, but she played a strong club schedule during the spring and summer. Cornett said Denney had performed admirably during the first few weeks of practice and likely would start at second base.
The biggest question mark Lansing faced entering this season was who would replace all-league third baseman Maggie Aus, a four-year starter who graduated last spring. That duty will fall to sophomore Morgan Chiles. Next to Chiles at shortstop will be sophomore Amanda Darrow. Both were varsity starters last year.
Sophomore Sara Logan will be the most versatile player on the team. She made her mark as a freshman when she was called up mid-game from the junior varsity to play outfield in a varsity game. This year she could see action at first base, second base or right field, Cornett said. Sophomore Jasmine Holland also will play right field.
Pitching should be a major strength, Cornett said. Sanders has been a starter the past two seasons, and freshman Brittney Lang will be the other starter. At 5-foot-9, Lang will throw with more velocity than most pitchers in the Kaw Valley League. Cornett said Lang's extensive summer softball experience, as well as the fact that she played varsity basketball this winter, would help her confidence.
"I think it's going to help immensely," he said. "She's very confident. She's got ice in her veins, really. If she just lets things happen, she could let it all be so good."
Rainy weather has forced the Lions to practice indoors for most of the past week, so the haven't been able to do much hitting or scrimmaging.
Cornett will get his first look at his squad in a game situation at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday when it plays host to Atchison in a doubleheader at Lansing City Park. LHS won both games against Atchison last year.