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New faces fill lineup

Posted Wednesday, February 24, 2010 by Sand Mountain Reporter
The new-look Albertville varsity softball team opened its 2010 season with a pair of victories Feb. 18.

Head coach Paul Woodruff’s lineup was filled with new names because the Aggies lost six seniors to graduation last year, a group that led the program to a combined 71-29-2 record in 2008 and 2009.

Last season’s squad finished 34-12-1 and became the first from Albertville to reach the Class 5A state tournament. The Aggies were the North Regional runner-up.

Becca Townsend, a Snead State signee, and Haley Carnes are the team’s only seniors in 2010.

The varsity roster also features juniors Torrea Talton and Erin Stewart; sophomores Brittany Copeland, Shainna Pearce, Erin Segers and Katlin Light; eighth-graders Emily Woodruff and Jenna Chandler; and seventh-graders Madi Bruce and Peighton Ponder.

“It’s really just like it was when Katie (Cornelius), Constance (Pams), Coty (Hanson) and that group were freshmen, and Hannah (Woodruff), Carrie (Barton) and McKenzie (Peet) were eighth-graders,” Paul Woodruff said.

“We do have Becca, who signed with Snead, and we’re expecting good stuff out of her. Haley will predominantly be the designated player and do a lot of hitting.

“We’ve got a middle school middle infield. Emily is going to play short and Madi Bruce, a seventh-grader, is going to play second.”

Emily Woodruff moved up to the varsity last season and gained valuable experience, as she participated in the area, regional and state tournaments.

“Brittany Copeland will probably be our big stick,” Paul Woodruff said. “She’s going to move from third base to catcher.

“Becca is going to move back over to third (base from first base), and she’ll play some outfield.

“Torrea finished with 15, 16 wins last year on the other side of Carrie, and she’s going to do most of the pitching varsity-wise, but we will use Peighton Ponder, another seventh-grader, to pitch opposite Torrea.”

Chandler moved up to the varsity as a seventh-grader. She will start in the outfield this season.

“Jenna didn’t get a lot of time last year other than to courtesy run and pinch run, and just an at-bat here and there,” Woodruff said.

“We’ll have three middle schoolers as everyday players in our lineup.”

The Lady Aggies have won back-to-back area tournament championships.

They will compete with Boaz, Etowah and Southside in Class 5A, Area 13.

“I would say there is probably not a favorite. If there is a favorite, it would probably be Southside because of the (Alayna) Holderfield girl (at pitcher),” Woodruff said.

“But I think our starting pitcher (Talton) rivals her as being the best pitcher in the area.”

Woodruff believes hitting holds the key to Albertville’s season.

“I think pitching we’re going to be OK and defensively we’re going to be OK, it’s going to be how these new kids hit. If you hit, you win.”

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