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Lady Panthers start slowpitch action Saturday

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / Brookhaven seniors (from left) Haley Speaks, Katherine Shell, Reagan Atterberry and Fallon Brooks are ready to begin the 2015 slowpitch softball season. The Lady Panthers debut Aug. 8 in the Lawrence County Classic in Monticello.

DAILY LEADER / MARTY ALBRIGHT / Brookhaven seniors (from left) Haley Speaks, Katherine Shell, Reagan Atterberry and Fallon Brooks are ready to begin the 2015 slowpitch softball season. The Lady Panthers debut Aug. 8 in the Lawrence County Classic in Monticello.

Defense and having power in the lineup will be the Brookhaven Lady Panthers’ key strengths as they prepare to kick off their season Aug. 8 in Lawrence County’s slowpitch softball jamboree in Monticello.

The Lady Panthers will have four seniors providing leadership with Katherine Shell, Fallon Brooks, Haley Speaks and Reagan Atterberry.

“We are looking forward to another great season,” said Brookhaven head coach Mandy Vinson. “The girls have worked hard all summer to get ready for the season. We are excited and ready to get the season started.”

Vinson will be starting her second season as head coach, after serving as the assistant coach for six seasons behind Chad Walker. Her assistant coaches for the 2015 season are Megan Bateman Case, Erica Bridwell and Allyson Wallace Smith. Vinson has 23 players on her 2015 softball squad.

The Lady Panthers will be looking to improve on a 16-14 season record last year while continuing their strong hold in district action after finishing last season with a perfect 10-0 record.

The Lady Panthers will have eight returning starters to help in the field: Shell at shortstop, Speaks at third base, Brooks at right field, Kat Wallace at second base, Cheyenne Motley at first base, Tia Bussey at left field, Jada Henderson at left-center field and Rileigh at pitcher.

Brookhaven lost three starters to graduation last year: Left-center fielder Danielle Batteast, first baseman Chantel Quarles and catcher Julianna Porter. Quarles signed a tennis scholarship to play for the Co-Lin Lady Wolves.

In 2014, Shell batted .600 and had 16 homeruns to lead the team. Henderson provided a .440 batting average, Brooks had a .397 and Speak finished with a .340 average

The Lady Panthers will play seven games on the road before returning home for their first home opener against the Bogue Chitto Lady Cats on Aug. 25. The junior varsity game will start at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity game at 6:15 p.m.

Brookhaven Schedule

AUGUST

8-at Lawrence County Jamboree (Franklin Co-10:10 a.m.; Mendenhall-12:30 p.m.), 15-at Warren Central Classic (Warren Central-10:30; North Pike-12:15 p.m.), 18- at Lawrence County, 20-at Wesson, 22-at Hattiesburg tournament, 25-Bogue Chitto, 27-Wingfield.

SEPTEMBER

1-at Murrah, 3-at North Pike, 8-at Wingfield, 10-at Forrest Hill, 15-West Lincoln, 17-at Pearl, 19-at Wayne County, 22-at West Lincoln, 24-Forest Hill, 26-Ole Brook Tournament, 29-Pearl.

OCTOBER 

1-North Pike, 6-Murrah, 10-at Bogue Chitto tournament (BC at 11 a.m.; Franklin Co. at 12:30 p.m.), 13-First Round of Playoffs, 17-Second Round of Playoffs, 20-South State, 24-State Championship.

Brookhaven Lady Panthers Roster

Seniors 

Fallon Brooks, Katherine Shell, Haley Speaks, Reagan Atterberry, Dameda Rancifer (manager).

Juniors 

Tia Bussey, Jada Henderson, Cheyenne Motley.

Sophomores

Rileigh Allen, Jadeyn Fuller, Madison Thompson, Maddie Thompson.

Freshmen

Kat Wallace, Yocoriuna Braxton,

Eighth Graders 

Lydia Butler, Sharquita Cook, Jashunna Finley, Meg Foster, Kyla Henderson, Madi Miller.

Seventh Graders 

Timyia Cooper, Ce’Aira Henderson, Gracie Hudson