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Softball: Way of life for West Lincoln coach

Softball is a way of life in Andrew Redd’s household. He coachesslowpitch in the summer and fall and fastpitch in the spring atWest Lincoln. Besides that, Redd has two daughters playing softballthis summer.

Redd’s Lady Bears made a strong run at the Class 1A-2A statechampionship this season, advancing to the South State semifinals.They won their division and finished 14-6. They lost toPhiladelphia in the South semis.

Recognizing those accomplishments, Redd has been selected TheDAILY LEADER’s 2005 All-Area Fastpitch Softball Coach of theYear.

Redd, 37, also served as West Lincoln’s baseball coach untilthis season. He said fastpitch and baseball are similar. “You needspeed; that’s essential. The game is a lot faster than slowpitch.Defense saved us in several games.”

Team chemistry and self-sacrifice also are important in Redd’sopinion. “You usually don’t get the long ball. You have to playsmall ball. It’s short hits, bunting and base stealing which make ateam successful.”

With only two seniors in his starting lineup, Redd’s Lady Bearsmarched to the division championship. A hard-fought 2-0 win overLoyd Star determined the title.

“Our girls really worked together,” said Redd. His two seniors,catcher Lauren Smith and first baseman Alicia Kennedy, anchored theteam and provided leadership.

Looking ahead to next season, Class 1A and 2A fastpitch will beseparated for the first time. Redd said the competition in 1A stillwill be intense. “This season any of the top five teams could havewon the district.”

Redd has seven starters returning in pitcher Heather Huff,second baseman Kacey Smith, shortstop Britnee Smith, third basemanHolli Smith, left fielder April Kennedy, center fielder CarrieFauver and right fielder Keri Easley, plus designated hitter HannahKnouse.

Generous community support has helped Redd make majorimprovements in the softball field. New dugouts, bleachers and aconcession stand have been completed.

“We have a solid group who really enjoy softball,” said Redd. Hehas been coaching the slowpitch team for 5 years.

A 1986 West Lincoln graduate, Redd attended Copiah-LincolnCommunity College and graduated from Mississippi State Universitywith a degree in math and education. He rarely missed MSU’sbaseball games when the Bulldogs played on campus.

Redd later obtained a master’s degree in school administrationfrom Mississippi College.

Married to the former Camille Spencer of Fulton, they have threedaughters: Micah, age 8; Makennah, 5; and Maddox, 3. They attendJohnson Grove Church of Christ.

When he’s not coaching his daughters or the Lady Bears, Reddenjoys spending time with the family’s three horses.