Maggie Smith, Staff Writer
During the 2016 season, the Wingate Bulldogs Softball team finished 32-16 overall and 15-7 in the South Atlantic Conference. The Bulldogs lost six seniors, who were also key players. The Bulldogs lost seniors, Mellena Helms, Emily Usiak, Taylor Laskey, Shannen Adams, Jordan Wilson, and Stacey Houser.
Mellena Helms lead the team in several categories during the 2016 season including; slugging percentage, hits, runs scored, triples, home runs, total bases, stolen base percentage, and total plate appearances. Taylor Laskey lead in a few categories as well, and held the highest batting average (.372) throughout the 2016 season.
After losing six seniors, the Bulldogs added seven freshmen to the 2017 roster. “We have a really young team this year,” said head coach Lani Shaffer, “so we are going through our growing pains as a young team but eventually will work out all the kinks.”
The seven newcomers for the Bulldogs are; Jessica VonCannon, Rebekah Woods, Aubrey Reep, Emma Swenson, Mary Claire Coyne, Jordan McDuffie, and Jordan Floyd. Six of the seven freshmen are starters for the bulldogs.
VonCannon starts in left field for the bulldogs, Swenson at shortstop, and Coyne at first base. Woods interchanges for the starting position with senior, Olivia Smith. Reep alternates starting at pitcher with sophomore, Rachel Weidner.
The Bulldogs had four returning preseason honorees: first team selection, seniors, Katie McLaurin and Misty Doran, as well as second team all-conference selections, sophomores, Naomi Sapp and Rachel Weidner. Another key returner for the bulldogs is senior, Olivia Smith. Shaffer said she looks for her 3 seniors, Katie McLaurin, Misty Doran, and Olivia Smith to lead the way on and off the field this season.
The Bulldogs got their start for the season on February 4. So far, the Bulldogs are 7-9 overall. “This year is a rebuilding year” said Shaffer, “this is such an awesome group of girls this year and even though we are young, our future looks bright” said Shaffer.
The Bulldogs will play their next game March 5 at home at 1 p.m. against Georgia College.
Photo source: Wingate Univeristy Atheletics
Edited By: Brea Childs