Co-Lin softball looks to future

Published 8:00 pm Thursday, May 10, 2012

Don’t look back.

     Point to the future and expect success.

     Copiah-Lincoln Community College softball coach Allen Kent has put the 2012 season behind him. In his opinion, 2013 appears to be a lot brighter.

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     Kent has signed 11 high school standouts. Topping the signees list are four from Class AAA state champion Copiah Academy pitcher Meghan Johnson, catcher Kaci Berry, and  outfielders Elizabeth Cliburn and Morgan Brown. Johnson is her school’s valedictorian and has received a coveted, high academic scholarship to Co-Lin.

     Also signing with Co-Lin are Brookhaven shortstop Erica Bridwell, Wesson pitcher/outfielder Mackenzie Rials and infielder Beth Fortenberry of Natchez Cathedral.

     Kent feels confident when asked about his four new players from out-of-state: pitcher Brooke Gonzales and infielder Kayla Kraft, both from Denham Springs (Live Oak); pitcher Missy Romero of Canyon Lake, Texas,  and outfielder Jaylee Fernandez from Floresville, Texas. Both pitchers are right-handers.

     Hannah Roberts, from Amite School Center at Liberty by way of Summit, is a freshman catcher; also  will join the team. She was injured most of the 2012 season.

     There are some talented returnees at Co-Lin. Among them are shortstop Josie Porter, second/third baseman Bradi Davis; catcher Karla Beth Hux, designated player Shelby Mitchell, and outfielders Kaitlin Moak and Kaitlan Melton are the returning starters.,

     Lacy Duplantis, a utility player, and Chynna Coghlan, a backup pitcher, also return.

     “We have a pretty good core of returnees and an outstanding group of incoming freshmen,” said Kent. He had a shortage of strong-armed pitchers last season and suffered the consequences. Kent’s Lady Wolves finished 18-23 overall and 9-15 in the South Division.

     The Lady Wolves battled a rash of injuries this past season. Sophomore pitcher Brooke Delaughter under went surgery to repair her right wrist and third baseman Bradi Davis broke a bone in her hand late in the season. Pitcher Sarah Anthony wrestled with a series of leg/hip injuries but managed to stay in the circle most of the time.

     Co-Lin’s membership in the South Division is a challenge. Meridian Community College, the newest member of the MACJC, will join the South next season for softball and baseball, plus basketball and tennis, making it even tougher.

     Jones County Junior College’s Lady Bobcats won the MACJC state tournament and were second in the NJCAA regional to LSU-Eunice. The top two regional teams advance to the nationals, which will be held next week at Traceway Park in Clinton.

     Meanwhile, Co-Lin is looking forward to next year. There’s a new concession/press box facility overlooking the softball field. It also provides space for a meeting room/recreation area for players, complete with a flat screen TV; plus two coaches offices.

     Not to be outdone, Hinds Community College is scheduled to build a new softball facility on the Raymond campus, complete with artificial turf.

     In the meantime, Coach Kent is looking forward to next season. Players arrive on campus in August and go through an intense fall practice schedule. The first game of 2013 campaign is late January or early February.


     Receiving a healthy dose of summer sunshine is the Southern Ice softball team, composed of rising high school seniors and Co-Lin freshmen. It is coached by the fathers of three area players. They will play a busy summer schedule.

     Kent will be entering his 11th year at the helm. The Lady Wolves have a rich history under his guidance, winning three MACJC State Championships in the last six years. The Lady Wolves won the 2006 and 2008 NJCAA Region 23 Championships. The 2008 team finished runners-up in the NJCAA National Championship and third in 2006. The Lady Wolves have been consistently ranked in the NJCAA polls.


     Also on tap, is the annual Co-Lin Fastpitch Softball Camp. It will be held June 6-8 on the Wesson campus.

     Campers in grades 1-5 will have a morning session from 9 until noon. Grades 6-12 will practice in the afternoon from 1-4 p.m. They will learn softball fundamentals, mechanics and drills for improving on offense and defense.

     Pre-paid camp fee is $75. That’s $10 less than the walk-up fee. There are discounts for multiple siblings.

     For more information contact Coach Kent at (601) 643-8314 or (601) 757-0269 or email


     Contact sports editor Tom Goetz by Email: