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BA girls in fastpitch debut

Pitching should be the key as Brookhaven Academy’s Lady Cougarskick off their season today in fastpitch softball. BA will have sixpitchers in the rotation with senior Anna Katelyn Mangold leadingthe way. Junior Meredith Allen, eighth graders Olivia Lofton,McKenzie Davis, and Courtney Frank, and seventh grader AllieLivingston makes up the rest of the staff.

“We have a really young team,” said BA head coach Ricky Allen. “Ifour pitchers can throw strikes, I think we can win some games. Wewill get better as the year goes on.”

Allen, 47, will be starting his sixth season at the helm. The LadyCougars hope to improve on a 6-13 record last year and a 0-10record in district.

The Lady Cougars have five returning starters coming back to helpin the field: Anna Smith at shortstop, Laura Beth Wright atcatcher, Terah Winborne at left field, Meredith Allen at centerfield and Mangold at first base. Mangold is the only senior on theyoung squad.

BA lost three players to graduation last year in third basemanMollie Smith, right fielder Ashley Wilson and shortstop LauraEllett.

“We should have a pretty good hitting team,” continued Allen. Histeam plays at East Rankin Academy in Pelahatchie today andtomorrow.

Winborne led the team in 2009 with a .441 batting average. Allenbatted .372, Wright .326 and Mangold .289.

BA assistant coaches are Stan Winborne, Dustin Stewart, and DavidLivingston. Coach Allen has 26 players on his squad.

BA’s home games will be played at the Hansel King Sportsplex. Thejunior varsity game precedes the varsity game.