Great expectations for Lady Kavs

Published 9:21 am Thursday, March 9, 2017

Expectations do not get any higher than those that Head Coach Jannon Coley has for the 2017 Kenston Forest School varsity softball team.

“I predict us winning the conference and winning the state, definitely,” she said.

The Lady Kavaliers finished last season with little left to accomplish outside of those objectives. They ended up with an overall record of 19-11 and reached the championship game in both the Virginia Colonial Conference (VCC) tournament and the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division III state tournament.

But standing in their way in both instances was Southampton Academy, issuing Kenston Forest a 5-1 loss in the VCC title game and a 6-2 loss in the state final.

“We definitely want to win our conference against Southampton, and we definitely want to win the states against them, too,” Coley said. “That’s going to be our biggest rivalry, our biggest competition this year, just like it was last year. So, it’s going to come down to probably pitching. Pitching’s a lot of it, and it comes down to hitting also. So, we’ll see.”

The Lady Kavs lose only one player from last year’s squad, with Brooke Mason having graduated.

This year’s team features five seniors, four of whom are starters, four juniors, three sophomores, two freshmen and one eighth-grader.

Coley said Kenston Forest’s main pitchers will include a trio led by senior Lydia Wrenn.

“She’s phenomenal in the circle,” the coach said. “She has about five different pitches, and she’s just a hard worker.”

The team’s other primary pitchers include senior Savannah Gunn, who helped lead the Lady Kavs in the circle last year, and freshman Rachel Tucker, who transferred from Dinwiddie High School.

Most of Kenston Forest’s infield starting lineup is set. Coley said Wrenn will start in the circle, Gunn will start at shortstop, junior Josie Epperson will man first base, freshman Haley Henshaw will play second base and senior Mackenzie Coley will be the catcher.

“My third base is a little shaky,” Coach Coley said, noting Wrenn or Gunn could slide into that spot, or possibly eighth-grader Molly Epperson.

The coach said the outfield is not set, except for senior Rebecca Hadley in center field.

Juniors Cassie Beane, Taylor Berkley and Ally McComas will likely see a lot of time in the outfield.

The Lady Kavs will also benefit from the contributions of sophomores Macie Coley, Samantha Gunn and Rachel Moore.

Kenston Forest starts the season Thursday when it hosts Central Virginia Homeschool at 4:30 p.m.