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Senior spotlight: Pandemic shutdown cuts promising Loyd Star softball season short

The Loyd Star Lady Hornets were Region 7-2A softball champions in 2019 and they came into this season with equally high expectations.

That’s the standard that’s been set by head coach Jan Delaughter for a long time now — she expects her teams to play hard and together.

Delaughter knows that if she can get her team to do that then the wins and losses will take care of themselves.

Last year, the Lady Hornets were 21-7-1 and made the second third round of the 2A playoff before they were eliminated by Enterprise-Clarke.

There were four seniors on that team, but Loyd Star has talent spread out through every class. This season, the Lady Hornets were 5-3 with close losses to Lawrence County and Warren Central before the season was prematurely ended.

The abrupt ending of the 2020 campaign is still painful for the coach as she thinks about the senior class of Carly Beth Wallace, Malori Cade and Taylor Smith and how they had their final season in Hornetville ended so unceremoniously.

“I was looking forward to what this season held for the team as well as these three talented seniors,” said Delaughter. “I want these girls to know I am very proud of them and look forward to seeing what they accomplish in the future. This pandemic may have taken away our season, but it will never take away the memories made over the years and the life lessons learned along the way.”

Carly Beth Wallace

The daughter of Chris Wallace and Carla Wallace, Carly Beth plans to attend Copiah-Lincoln Community College and pursue a major in nursing before moving on to UMMC to finish her education. A versatile, hard-nosed player and a leader on the team, Wallace was also an honorable mention selection for the All-Area basketball team along with being a member of the LS cheer team. She played six years of softball for Loyd Star.

Malori Cade

The daughter of Juston and Lora Cade, Malori plans to attend Copiah-Lincoln Community College next year on a softball scholarship while studying exercise science in hope of becoming an athletic trainer one day. A five-tool player who is fearless in the outfield defensively, Cade was a Daily Leader All-Area selection last year, an MAC All-Star game selection and played six years of softball for Loyd Star.

Taylor Smith

The daughter of Jereme and Beth Smith, Taylor plans to attend Copiah-Lincoln Community College where she was recently selected as a member of the Colette dance team. A player who’s improved greatly since joining the team as a junior, Smith was also an honorable mention selection for the All-Area basketball team along with being a member of the LS cheer team.