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Lady Tigers experienced

It didn’t take coach Pete McCloud long to find replacements for his lineup.

Monday, March 26, 2001

It didn’t take coach Pete McCloud long to find replacements for his lineup.

With eight starters returning, McCloud had only one position to fill this season as the Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers prepared to build on last season’s 11-3 record.

Ironton’s only loss was Nicole King, but she was one of the top hitters on the the team.

Heading the list of returning players is senior catcher Melissa Cielec and senior centerfielder Jessica Ensor.

"Cielec is one of the best catchers around the area and Ensor is an excellent outfielder," McCloud said.

Joining Ensor in the outfield will be a couple of juniors, Carly Isaac in right field and Laura Oaks in left.

"Oaks, Ensor, and Isaac give us a good outfield," said McCloud.

Junior Katie Keller and sophomore Ashley McCloud, daughter of the head coach, will share the first base job again as they share the pitching duties as well.

"Our pitching should be all right if we don’t make errors," coach McCloud said. "Our main concern is defense. We have to minimize our mistakes. The hitting and runs should be there."

The infield is again solid with sophomore Rachel McClellan at shortstop, sophomore Maria Frazer at second base, and junior Charli Hatfield at third base.

"All three of those girls do a good job with the glove and they can all hit and run," coach McCloud said.

Another area of strength is team speed. With Ensor, McClellan, and others, Ironton figures to be aggressive on the bases.

"We have good speed and hit the ball well. We shouldn’t have a lot of trouble scoring runs," said coach McCloud.

The one thing that muddies the optimism of the team is an extremely schedule.

"We’re young and we’ve got a really tough schedule. We should be able to compete, but I don’t know what that will mean in terms of wins and losses," coach McCloud said.