Lady Tigers lineup should score runs

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 26, 2000

It could be a Murderer’s Row, but they’ll be tried as minors.

Sunday, March 26, 2000

It could be a Murderer’s Row, but they’ll be tried as minors.

Email newsletter signup

Offense may be the strength of the Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers softball team, but veteran players are at a premium. Only two seniors are on the roster as Ironton begins its season under first-year head coach Pete McCloud.

"We’re going to be a young team. We’ll start one senior, two juniors and the rest are all freshmen and sophomores," said McCloud. "But these girls have had experience playing little league and junior Olympics, so they’ll have some experience."

The one key senior is Laura King who led the team in hitting last season and is back at shortstop to anchor the infield. King is the team captain.

"She runs the team on and off the field," coach McCloud said.

King is not only a leader and hitter, but she is a solid defensive player who adds to a young but strong defensive infield.

"Our defense and hitting are probably the strength," said McCloud. "The whole team hits pretty well. We just need our pitching to keep us in the game."

Sophomore Katie Keller and freshman Ashley McCloud, daughter of the head coach, will do the bulk of the pitching, and coach McCloud said freshman Ashley Dickess will see time on the mound as well.

"Katie and Ashley (McCloud) will do most of the pitching. We’ll be moving them in and out of every game. They both pitch very well," said McCloud. "Ashley Dickess hasn’t been pitching as long as the other two, but she’s doing pretty good. She’s going to be a good one."

If the pitching does the job, coach McCloud said the offense will generate some runs.

"We have a lot of speed on the bases. We’ll be an aggressive team," said McCloud. "We’ve got a lot of power and speed all the way through the lineup."

Two freshmen will start in the infield with Maria Frazer at second and Ashley Carmon at third.

"They’re young, but they’re real good fielders and they have good arms," coach McCloud said.

Sophomore Rachel McClellan will be in left field, junior Jessica Ensor is back in center, and sophomore Carly Isaac returns in right field.

"The outfield is one of the best I’ve coached. Jessica Ensor amazes me with her hustle and desire. She gets to everything and goes all out," said coach McCloud.

Junior Melissa Cielec starts at catcher for the third year. Coach McCloud said Cielec is an excellent defensive player who also bring a lot to the plate on offense.

"Cielec is a good catcher and she’s probably the fastest player on the team. She can get down the baseline," said coach McCloud.

Sophomore designated hitter Charlie Hatfield and sophomore third baseman Laura Oakes also figure in coach McCloud’s plans.

"Charlie Hatfield and Laura Oakes will probably help us a lot," said coach McCloud.

An independent, Ironton will face another strong schedule with its youthful team.

"It’s pretty much the same schedule as last year. South Point is probably the toughest team we’ll face, and Fairland will be good. And Symmes Valley has a good program," coach McCloud said.

‘But this is a new program for them and it’s going to take some time for them to get use to it."