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After completing the best season in school history last year, the Marion County High School softball team is hoping to duplicate their success and improve on their final result. Under the direction of second-year coach Todd Spalding, the Lady Knights will begin play next Monday when they travel to Thomas Nelson High School in Bardstown. After that, the Lady Knights will begin a stretch of three straight home games in a four-day span beginning on March 18.
Last season the Lady Knights finished the regular season with a record of 21-8 and clinched the first regular season district title in school history. Marion County then went on to defeat Campbellsville and Taylor County to capture the first district tournament championship in school history. At the 5th Region softball tournament that was held at Marion County, the Lady Knights advanced to the championship game of the tournament, another first for the team. After a thrilling nine-inning win over Elizabethtown in the semifinals, Marion County fell to Green County 3-1 in the regional championship game. Overall, the team ended up with a 25-9 record.
With the majority of last year’s team intact, Head Coach Todd Spalding has big plans for his team.
“Our expectations are extremely high for this season,” he said. “I expect to be significantly better than we were last year. Whether or not our record will indicate that remains to be seen because our schedule is much tougher. However, we fully expect to contend for the region championship and be among the best 25 teams in the state.”
Several key players give the Lady Knights and advantage this year, according to Spalding.
“Abby Miles, Ashley Walls and Taylor Wade are elite players who could start and be prominent players for any team in the state of Kentucky,” he said. “Colleen Rakes is a four-year starter who will play a huge role in our success. Kylie Benningfield and Jordan Thomas are young players who will, without a doubt, play at the college level.”
There is a group of players that Spalding feels will have the most impact on his team’s success.
“I think the key to our success this season will be the level of production that we receive from Lauren Farmer, Rebecca Taylor, Kenlee Stout and McKenzie Reynolds,” he said. “All four of these players have the ability to play softball at an extremely high level, and their ability to do this on a consistent basis will factor greatly in our success.”