Lady Tigers set on another run
They’re hoping that it might not be so dramatic this time around.
The Lady Tigers returned to their usual post-season routine last season, but had to hold off Caldwell in a third place playoff to do so.
A seasonal mix of veterans with a dash of talented newcomers has second-year Rockdale Coach Amanda Keen enthusiastic.
“I am really looking forward to this season,” said Keen. “We have a great group of girls that are meshing very well, especially this early in the season. With the district we are in we are really going to have to fight to come out on top, but I do think that we have the girls that are ready for that challenge.”
The Lady Tigers, 11-9 in 2011, return four starters including Kayleigh Montelongo, Victoria Drake, Mirissa Mireles and Amanda Boyd off a team that lost to Bellville in the area round.
Senior starter Jill Young (.517) is not playing softball.
Montelongo is the Lady Tigers’ leader on the mound and at the plate with an 11-7 record on the hill, while hitting .370 with a team-high 16 runs batted and slugging two home runs.
Other returnees include Morgan Fischer, Alyssa Wallis and Lisa Vest
Newcomers hoping to see lots of playing time are Britni Newlin and Hailey Wright.
Mireles will man the shortstop position again this year after she was forced to move over there when regular Meagan Hearn injured her knee and was lost for the season.
Mireles had the top batting average for a regular at .442, which included nine doubles and 10 runs batted in.
A couple of players who were experiencing their first year on the varsity, provided a boost for the Lady Tigers.
Drake hit .377 with 11 RBI after settling in at second base, while the freshman outfielder Boyd snapped off a .341 batting average and followed only Mireles in the RBI department with 14.
A possible starting lineup could have Montelongo at pitcher, Britni Newlin at catcher, Maci Wages at first, Lisa Vest at second, Mireles at short, Kayla Deary at third and Drake, Boyd, Fischer or Wallis in the outfield.
The Lady Tigers captured their season opener with a 9-2 victory over Weimar Tuesday night on the road.
Rockdale cracked out 13 hits, led by Newlin’s double and triple that produced two runs batted in.
Deary brought home three runs with a double.
Montelongo logged her first win of the season as the Tigers posted two runs in each of the first three innings.
Here is a year-by-year list of the Lady Tigers results since the program’s inception in 1994:
Coach—Amanda Keen (2nd year 11-9) 2011 record—11-9 2011 district—5-5, 3rd Playoffs—Lost to Bellville in area round. Key losses—3B Megan Hearn, DH Mac Tater, C Britta Byrd, 1B Krista Phillips. Key returnees—Sr. OF Victoria Drake (.377); Jr. P Kayleigh Montelongo (11-8, .370, 2 HR, 16 RBI); Jr. SS Mirissa Mireles (.442); So. OF Amanda Boyd (.341, 14 RBI), So. 3B Kayla Deary (.484); Jr. OF Morgan Fischer (.444); So. 1B Maci Wages (.235); OF Alyssa Wallis. Key newcomers—Sr. Britini Newlin, Jr. Lisa Vest, Hailey Wright. District opener—March 20 hosting Smithville at RHS Softball Complex.