Delaughter enjoys Loyd Star’s amazing season
Loyd Star coach Jan Delaughter and her Lady Hornets experienced an amazing season as they marched through the regular season and the playoffs to finished MHSAA Class 2A State Runners-up with an overall record of 28-6.
During their exciting run, Loyd Star captured their second straight Region 7-2A crown with a perfect 8-0 record. They also experience an thrilling 18-game winning streak on the season.
In the playoffs, the Lady Hornets continued their strong run through the Class 2A race defeating Union, Enterprise-Clarke and Taylorsville to win the MHSAA Class 2A South State championship undefeated at 6-0.
Loyd Star advanced to the State Championship finals at Freedom Ridge Park for the first time, since winning it all in 2009.
The Lady Hornets ended up battling the current three-time defending state champion, East Webster, in three close games for the championship. Loyd Star won Game One 3-2 Friday, but lose two heartbreakers 3-1 and 4-3.
For this great accomplishment, Coach Jan Delaughter has earned The DAILY LEADER’s All-Area Coach of the Year for 2015.
“It is an honor to be recognized as the All-Area softball coach of the year,” said Delaughter. “I coach in an area where there are many exceptional coaches who I respect greatly and any of them could have received this honor. I am very humble. My players made it possible for me to receive this honor. They are a very talented group of young ladies.”
Delaughter presented her thoughts on her team’s amazing season. “Our season overall was great,” said Delaughter. “We attained the majority of our goals, but came up one short as we finished State Runners-up.
“Nevertheless we had a great season and the girls played their hearts out,” continued Delaughter. “Overall, I was very proud for the girls and for their hard work.”
Delaughter had several talented players who stepped up in their successful run in 2015. Her starting lineup: Julie Smith at centerfield, Madison Jones at third base, Ali Gartman at first base, Abagail Thornton at shortstop, Makenzie Smith at pitcher, Raigan Smith at designated player, Megan Norton at catcher, Kelsie McCullough at right field, Brooks Rushing at left field and Johnna Norman as the flex/second baseman.
Other members on the squad are Malori Cade, Lesley Walker, Katie West, Carlie Beth Wallace, Marley Poole, Megan Poole and Kaylea Smith.
The team posted an overall batting average of .275 and accounted for 36 doubles, 13 triples, 16 home runs and 147 RBIs.
Delaughter, 53, shared her goals for next season. “We plan to work harder during the off season to improve on our hitting and our strength,” said Delaughter. “We will also continue to work hard on improving our defense.”
Coach Delaughter stated that she loves and enjoys the community support. “The community support for our fastpitch softball program is great,” said Delaughter. “We not only have some the greatest fans at Loyd Star, but also in the state. I want to thank our fans for supporting us. It means so much to the team.”
Delaughter will lose only two seniors, Brooks Rushing and Raigan Smith, to graduation but she will still have a talented group of girls returning for next season.
Coach Jan Delaughter teaches Algebra II, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus and fastpitch softball at Loyd Star. She enjoys deer and rabbit hunting, cattle farming, four-wheeler riding and spending time with her family: son, Matthew and wife Annie Delaughter; daughter, Brooke Delaughter and fiancée Travis Keene, and grandkids Bryson and Eliana Delaughter.
Coach Delaughter’s assistant coaches are Bo Case, Brooke Delaughter and Travis Keene.