Lady Panthers work on experience, defense

Published 6:00 pm Sunday, August 8, 2010

Capitalizing on team experience and a solid defense will be themain purpose as the Brookhaven Lady Panthers kick off theirslowpitch softball season August 17, against Franklin County.

The Lady Panthers will have four seniors providing leadership withMadeline DeLaughter, Erica Lenior, Sarah Ayers and RobinDouglas.

“Our team will be more experienced,” Brookhaven head coach LisaCovington. “I hope to build on our success we had from lastyear.”

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Covington, 41, will be starting her 19th season at the helm. TheLady Panthers looks to improve on a 15-19 season record last yearand a 2-0 record in district play. Brookhaven won the South StateChampionship last year and was runners-up in the State 5AFinals.

The Lady Panthers have nine returning starters coming back to helpin the field: Brooke Hosick at pitcher, DeLaughter at first base,Rashana Stewart at second base, Erica Bridwell at shortstop, EmilyFreeman at third base, Christen Benson at left field, Dana Herringat right-center field, Carlee Ballard at catcher and Shareeka Hillcenter field.

Brookhaven lost two starters to graduation last year: left-centerfielder Stevie Ann Wright and right fielder Desiree Benson.

“We must play solid defense and score a lot of runs,” continuedCovington.

Christen Benson was among the leaders with a .380 batting averagein 2009. Erica Bridwell batted .360, Dana Herring .325 and ShareekaHill .324.

Brookhaven assistant coaches are Chad Walker, Mandy Vinson andMegan Case. Covington has 28 players on her squad.

The Lady Panthers first home game will be against the North PikeLady Jaguars, Aug. 24. The junior varsity game will precede thevarsity game.