Joey White for WVMetroNews.com
HURRICANE, W.Va. — Into the regular season’s final week, the Hurricane softball team continues to mow down opponents, with sights set on a third straight Class AAA state championship.
The Redskins return with a cast of familiar faces, including the 2016 West Virginia Softball Player of the Year, Katie Adams — but the development of some underclassman has given head coach Josh Caldwell some new pieces to work with this season.
“We have a lot of versatility in our lineup, and quite a bit of depth at different positions,” said Caldwell. “Multiple players can play at a lot of different areas, and that’s one thing that is a little different from previous years.”
So far, that depth and versatility has bred positive results. Hurricane entered the week with the best record in Class AAA at 21-1, with the only loss coming to Huntington in early April. The Redskins avenged that loss to Huntington last week, 10-2.
That type of dominance isn’t out of the ordinary for Caldwell, who credits the program’s achievements in recent years to the development of a well-rounded softball team.
“For the most part, we’ve had the same recipe for success – pretty good pitching, good offense, and good defense,” said Caldwell.
The Redskins’ pitching staff is led by the tandem of senior left-hander Katie Adams and freshman standout Harlie Vanatter. The pair have dominated opposing lineups, posting a handful of shutouts during the season.
“They’re a good one-two combo,” said Caldwell. “They each kind of bring something different to the table. Katie’s a senior and Harlie’s a freshman, but they both have really good presence on the mound.”
Offensively, Kiersten Landers and Jayme Bailey provide speed at the top of a power-heavy lineup that continues to stifle pitching staffs across West Virginia.
“We don’t really have many weaknesses in our lineup one through nine,” said Caldwell. “Some nights our eight and nine hitters have multiple RBI’s and some nights it’s the top of the lineup, so we’re kind of strong throughout.”
Despite all the success this season, making the state tournament won’t be easy, as Hurricane will have to make it out of a section with programs like Huntington, Cabell Midland, and Spring Valley.
“They’ve realigned everything this year, so our section has gotten even tougher – our top four teams are some of the top 10 teams in the state,” said Caldwell. “They’re all really good teams that have talent throughout their lineup.”
If they can get out of their region, the Redskins will look to capture a third straight AAA state championship, which would be the fourth in five years for Hurricane High School.
“It’s going to be a tough battle, but it would be awesome to win a third straight,” said Caldwell. “We’re going to try to prepare and do what it takes to do that the next few weeks. We have to keep focus with every inning we have, and just take care of business.”
2017 Softball Schedule
|2||03/16/17||6:00PM||A –||ST. ALBANS HIGH SCHOOL||10||–||0||W|
|4||03/18/17||2:00PM||H –||WOODROW WILSON||8||–||0||W|
|5||03/22/17||5:30PM||A –||LINCOLN COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL||11||–||3||W|
|6||03/23/17||5:30PM||A –||CABELL MIDLAND||10||–||0||W|
|9||03/28/17||5:30PM||A –||SOUTH CHARLESTON||7||–||2||W|
|10||03/29/17||5:30PM||A –||GEORGE WASHINGTON||11||–||1||W|
|12||03/30/17||5:00PM||H –||CABELL MIDLAND||5||–||1||W|
|13||Cancelled||5:00PM||A –||CHAPMANVILLE TOURNAMENT||–|
|14||Cancelled||12:00PM||A –||CHAPMANVILLE TOURNAMENT||–|
|15||04/04/17||5:30PM||A –||SPRING VALLEY||13||–||4||W|
|19||04/12/17||5:30PM||H –||CHAPMANVILLE REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL||7||–||3||W|
|20||04/14/17||12:00PM||A –||GREENUP, KY.||8||–||1||W|
|21||04/15/17||6:00PM||A –||ASHLAND, KY||18||–||1||W|
|22||04/15/17||4:00PM||A –||EAST CARTER, KY.||15||–||0||W|
|23||04/18/17||5:30PM||H –||SPRING VALLEY||10||–||5||W|
|25||04/21/17||6:00PM||H –||ST. ALBANS HIGH SCHOOL||10||–||2||W|
|26||04/24/17||6:00PM||H –||CAPITAL HIGH SCHOOL||13||–||1||W|
|29||04/27/17||5:30PM||H –||LINCOLN COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL||–|
|30||04/29/17||1:00PM||H –||WHEELERSBURG, KY||–|
|wins: 22 lost: 1 ties: 0|