2017-18 Softball News

Lady Bucks earn road sweep over Jackson State

April 10, 2018

The Motlow Lady Bucks banged out 42 hits and got quality time in the circle from four different pitchers as they traveled to Jackson and swept the Jackson State Lady Generals in a four-game TCCAA conference series Sunday and Monday.

The Lady Bucks (20-14, 17-7) solidified their hold on fourth place in the TCCAA standings with the victories and have an opportunity to climb even higher during the next two weeks, when they face a pair of teams that are ahead of them in the standings. Motlow has won five straight conference series and 13 of its previous 15 games.

But first they will enjoy something they hadn't done since April 2016, sweeping all four games from a conference opponent. Motlow beat Jackson 4-3, 11-5 on Sunday and 10-5, 8-2 Monday. The games were originally scheduled for Friday and Saturday, but were postponed due to cold, wet conditions.

Up next is a trip to Gallatin to face Volunteer State, currently ahead of the Lady Bucks in the standings, Friday and Saturday. Motlow will finish the regular season at home, with series against second place Walters State April 20 & 21, and Southwest Tennessee April 27 & 28.

Sunday's first game was the closest of the series. Motlow jumped out front 2-0 in the first inning and 3-0 after two innings, but the Lady Generals tied the game in the fourth. Motlow's winning run came in the top of the sixth inning, when Kylie Thackerson singled with one out and after a fielder's choice, Haley Hinshaw drove in Jennifer Corbitt with a two-out single.

Kendall Durard (13-5) got the win in the circle in relief of Breanna Owens, who pitched 3.1 innings and allowed two earned runs on six hits. Durard tossed the final 3.2 innings, giving up just one hit with five strikeouts. Thackerson had two hits, while Hinshaw, Owens, Madison Hopkins and Madison Woodruff drove in runs.

The second game Sunday saw the Lady Bucks jump out in front with eight runs in the first four innings and coast home with the sweep for the day. Thackerson had four hits and four runs scored at the top of the batting order, and Woodruff had four hits with two runs batted in. Hopkins added three hits and Corbitt had two hits with two RBI.

Durard got her second win of the day, pitching the first five innings and allowing five hits and three runs. Samantha King pitched the final two innings, surrendering three hits and one earned run with five strikeouts.

Motlow had to come from behind in the first game Monday after falling behind 4-0 in the second inning. The Lady Bucks were up to the challenge, scoring six runs in the third inning and four more in the fourth. Miranda Cooksey hit a grand slam in the third after Motlow took advantage of four walks and a single, and Thackerson drove a pair of runs with a single in the fourth.

Owens got the start but lasted only 1.2 innings, despite allowing zero earned runs on five hits. Durard picked up another win, pitching 4.1 innings and allowing just two hits. Sarah Wilson pitched the final inning and got all three batters out that she faced.

The series finale once again featured the Lady Bucks taking the lead early, scoring two runs in the second inning and three more in the third. Owens and Ciera Dobbins each drove in two runs, while Ariel McAtee, Hopkins and Owens had two hits each. Wilson pitched the first three innings, allowing four hits and one earned run, while King pitched the final four innings and gave up just two hits with four strikeouts.

Kylie Thackerson
Motlow leadoff hitter Kylie Thackerson waits for the pitch during a recent home game. Thackerson had eight hits and scored six runs during the Lady Bucks' sweep over TCCAA opponent Jackson State last weekend in Jackson. Thackerson, a freshman from Scottsboro, Ala., leads the Lady Bucks with a .407 batting average and 13 stolen bases. Jeff Reed Photography.

Lady Bucks win series over Columbia State, including extra-inning comeback

April 2, 2018

Kendall Durard allowed only three earned runs in 26 innings pitched and the Motlow Lady Bucks won their fourth consecutive TCCAA conference series by beating visiting Columbia State three games to one last weekend, playing two games at Moore County High School and two at Lady Bucks Field.

The Lady Bucks (16-14, 13-7) have now won 12 of their previous 16 games, all conference games, and have solidified their place at No. 4 in the TCCAA standings. Motlow will hit the road for their next two series, traveling to Jackson State April 6 & 7 and Volunteer State the following weekend. The next home series is April 20 & 21, when Walters State visits.

Due to heavy rains the previous day, Friday's first two games of the series were played at Moore County High School. The Lady Bucks won game one 2-1, then dropped the nightcap 4-2. Saturday's action moved back to Lady Bucks Field, where the home team won game one 6-5 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the tenth inning, and then finished off the series with a 4-1 victory.

Friday's opener saw Motlow trail 1-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, when they scored twice to open the series with a win. Madison Woodruff and Breanna Owens opened up the inning with singles and advanced a base on a Durard sacrifice. With two outs, Ciera Dobbins drove in both runners with a single to right field.

Durard tossed a complete game, scattering six hits and allowing one run with six strikeouts.

In game two the Lady Chargers scored single runs in the first and second innings before Motlow tied the score with two runs in the third. Columbia State added two runs in the fifth but Motlow couldn't answer, giving the visitors their only win of the series. The Lady Bucks hurt themselves on defense, committing four errors during the contest.

Madison Hopkins had a pair of hits for Motlow, and Durard pitched well again, going the distance and allowing only seven hits with five strikeouts. Only one of the four runs was earned by the Lady Chargers.

Saturday's first game was a 10-inning thriller that saw Columbia take a 3-0 lead in the fourth before Motlow came back with four runs in the fifth. The Lady Chargers tied it with a run in the sixth and neither team scored again until Columbia took the lead with a run in the top of the tenth. Motlow never quit though, scoring twice in the tenth to get the victory.

After nine innings in softball, a runner gets placed on second base to start the inning. For Motlow in the tenth, that runner was Hopkins. Woodruff reached first on a ground ball, sending Hopkins to third. Durard drove in the tying run with a single to left, scoring Hopkins and sending Woodruff to second. Owens then loaded the bases with a single and Jennifer Corbitt drove in the winning run by drawing a walk.

Durard and Owens split time in the circle. Owens got the start and went five innings, allowing eight hits and three runs. Durard pitched the final five innings, giving up six hits and two runs.

The series finale saw Durard pitch perhaps her best game of the series, allowing just two hits with seven strikeouts and zero runs unearned. She also starred at the plate, getting three hits and driving in two runs.

With the Lady Bucks leading 2-1, Motlow added two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth. Caroline Sarris opened the inning with a single, and after one out Ariel McAtee reached on an error. With two outs, Hopkins came through with a single through the box, scoring both Sarris and McAtee. Motlow had 10 hits for the game, with Durard and Hopkins each driving in two runs.

Madison Hopkins
Motlow softball player Madison Hopkins waits for the pitch during the Lady Bucks series against Columbia State last weekend, a series that Motlow won three games to one. Hopkins, a freshman from Lewisburg, had five hits and drove in three runs during the series and is hitting .345 for the season. Jeff Reed Photography.

Lady Buck win third straight TCCAA series, host Columbia State this weekend

March 26, 2018

The Motlow Lady Bucks continued their climb up the TCCAA softball standings by taking three out of four games from visiting Dyersburg State this past weekend at Lady Bucks Field on Motlow's Moore County campus.

The Lady Bucks (13-13, 10-6) beat the Lady Eagles 7-5 and 5-1 Friday, then won Saturday's opener 3-2 before falling 6-2 in the series finale. Motlow will host Columbia State this weekend, with doubleheaders scheduled for Friday at 2 p.m. and Saturday at noon.

Motlow has now won each of its last three conference series and has moved into sole possession of fourth place in the TCCAA standings. The Lady Bucks are 9-3 in their previous 12 conference games and have not played outside the conference since March 6 due to inclement weather.

The Lady Bucks were clutch against Dyersburg State, scoring the winning run in their final at bat in two of the three victories. They got outstanding pitching performances from both Kendall Durard and Breanna Owens, and they won the series despite missing standout freshman Samantha King who sat out with a shoulder injury.

Motlow had to overcome five errors to win the first game Friday, scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning after giving up three in the top of the sixth. Durard (8-4) went the distance in the circle, allowing only four hits and one earned run with seven strikeouts.

Ariel McAtee got the Lady Bucks started in the deciding sixth inning, leading off with a single. Following a Kylie Thackerson walk, Haley Hinshaw sacrificed McAtee to third and Thackerson to second. With two outs, Owens brought in McAtee and Thackerson with a single to right field. Durard made the lead stand up, thanks in part to a game ending double play in the top of the seventh.

After allowing a run in the top of the first inning, the Lady Bucks scored two in the bottom of the frame, which was all they would need to win game two on Friday. Durard started in the circle and went four innings, allowing six hits and the one run with four strikeouts. Owens pitched no-hit ball the final three innings with two strikeouts and one walk.

With two outs in the first inning Madison Woodruff singled, Owens walked, and Miranda Cooksey singled to load the bases. Durard delivered the game winning single to score Owens and Cooksey. McAtee singled in Durard in the fourth inning and Cooksey doubled in Ace Hanson and Madison Hopkins in the fifth.

Motlow scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning to win Saturday's first game. Hopkins opened the inning with a walk and advanced to second on Woodruff's single. Owens sacrificed Hopkins to third and Woodruff to second, and Durard drove in the winning run with a two-out infield single.

Durard again went the distance in the circle, allowing five hits with eight strikeouts. The freshman from Shelbyville got all three wins in the pitching circle and drove in the winning run in two of the three victories.

Game four was played in a cold, consistent rain Saturday afternoon, and after Dyersburg State scored two runs in the top of the first inning, the Lady Bucks were playing catch-up the rest of the game. Owens pitched very well, scattering seven hits while allowing only two earned runs with five strikeouts. Hopkins and Owens each had two hits, but the Lady Eagles added two runs in the fourth inning and two more in the seventh to salvage one game in the series.

Kendall Durard
Motlow's Kendall Durard delivers a pitch during the Lady Bucks' series win over Dyersburg State last weekend. Durard, a freshman from Shelbyville, was the winning pitcher in all three of Motlow's victories in the series and had four hits and three runs batted in. The Lady Bucks will host Columbia State this weekend, with doubleheaders scheduled for Friday and Saturday. Jeff Reed Photography.

Lady Bucks' bats come alive in TCCAA series win over Roane State

March 20, 2018

The Motlow Lady Bucks banged seven home runs, including three by sophomore Miranda Cooksey, and won their second consecutive TCCAA conference series by taking three out of four games from Roane State last weekend in Harriman, Tenn.

The Lady Bucks (10-12, 7-5) were scheduled to host the Martin Methodist College JV team on Tuesday, but the doubleheader was rained out and no makeup date has been announced. Motlow will step back into conference play this weekend, hosting Dyersburg State in a four game series. Friday's doubleheader begins at 2 p.m. while Saturday's action is set for a noon start.

The weekend didn't begin well for the Lady Bucks on Friday in Harriman as Motlow dropped the opener 10-1. However, they came back strong, winning the night cap 13-5, then sweeping Saturday's games 14-9 and 6-5.

Motlow is now in fifth place in the TCCAA standings, just one game behind Dyersburg State (13-9, 8-4). Chattanooga State leads the league with an 11-1 record, while Walters State and Volunteer State are tied for second at 9-3.

Kendall Durard (5-5) took the loss in the opener, with relief help from Jennifer Corbitt and Sarah Wilson. The Lady Raiders scored at least one run in every inning of the five inning contest. Madison Hopkins and Madison Woodruff each had two hits for the Lady Bucks, and Haley Hinshaw drove in Motlow's only run.

Game two on Friday saw Motlow explode for six runs in the first inning and three more in the second to take a commanding lead. Samantha King (3-3) was exceptional in the circle, pitching a complete game while scattering 10 hits and allowing three earned runs with five strikeouts.

Cooksey and King both homered, while Woodruff and Hinshaw had three hits each, with Woodruff and King each driving in three runs. Breanna Owens had a pair of runs batted in, while Ariel McAtee had two hits and scored two runs.

Saturday's first game was all Motlow early, with the Lady Bucks scoring five runs in the first inning. Halfway through the sixth inning Motlow led 8-2, but Roane plated four runs to pull within 8-6. Motlow added six runs in the top of the seventh and the Lady Raiders fought back with three in the bottom of the inning, but Motlow's lead was too large to overcome.

Durard got the win in relief of King, who pitched the first five innings and allowed eight hits and four earned runs. Durard pitched the final two innings, giving up five hits and four runs with four strikeouts. Cooksey slammed two home runs and drove in six, while Durard also homered and had three RBI. Kylie Thackerson had three hits, while Woodruff, Owens and McAtee each had two hits.

The series finale started with Motlow scoring three runs in the top of the first. However, the home team answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning and three more in the second, taking a 5-3 lead. Motlow chipped away though, scoring one in the third, fourth and fifth innings, with the last being the game winner.

Durard was outstanding in the circle, tossing a complete game and allowing just five hits and one earned run with four strikeouts. The freshman has now pitched 55 innings on the season with a 2.51 earned run average and 43 strikeouts.

She also provided much-needed offense as both she and Ciera Dobbins had home runs. Durard drove in two runs and scored three, while King had two hits and drove in three runs.

Miranda Cooksey
Miranda Cooksey slams a home run during a home game earlier this season. Cooksey, a sophomore from Lewisburg, hit three home runs and drove in seven runs in four games over the weekend as Motlow won three out of four from TCCAA rival Roane State. The Lady Bucks will host Dyersburg State this weekend, with doubleheaders beginning at 2 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday. Jeff Reed Photography.

Kendall Durard dominates in the circle as Lady Bucks win TCCAA conference series

March 12, 2018

Kendall Durard allowed only one run in 18 innings pitched and the Motlow offense broke loose as the Lady Bucks won three out of four games from TCCAA rival Cleveland State over the weekend at Lady Bucks Field on Motlow's Moore County campus.

The Lady Bucks (7-11, 4-4) jumped up into the middle of the TCCAA standings with the series win, and will travel to Harriman this weekend for a four-game series against Roane State.

Cleveland stole the first game of the series, scoring two runs in the top of the seventh inning to win 3-2. After that it was all Motlow, and Durard, as the Lady Bucks won Friday's second game 4-1. Durard was completely dominant on Saturday, tossing 10 shutout innings as Motlow won 9-0, 8-0 in a pair of five-inning, run-rule contests.

Samantha King got the start in game one for Motlow, pitching three innings and allowing one earned run. The Lady Bucks took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth with two outs when Madison Woodruff doubled and advanced to third on a passed ball. After Haley Hinshaw was hit by a pitch, King singled in Woodruff to tie the game 1-1 and Hinshaw gave Motlow the lead by scoring on another passed ball.

Breanna Owens relieved King in the circle in the fourth inning and gave up the two runs to Cleveland in the seventh. Durard made her first appearance in the seventh by getting the final three outs, and she pitched every inning the rest of the series for the Lady Bucks.

In Friday's second game Durard scattered five hits and struck out four, allowing one walk and one earned run in the 4-1 win. The Lady Bucks scored one in the fourth inning, one in the fifth and two more in the sixth after the Lady Cougars had jumped in front 1-0 in the third inning.

Madison Hopkins opened the fourth with a single to center and scored on a Cleveland error. Miranda Cooksey singled with one out in the fifth and scored on a two-out single from Kylie Thackerson, giving the Lady Bucks a 2-1 lead. Motlow took advantage of an error and two passed balls to score its two runs in the sixth, and Durard made them stand up despite allowing a single and a walk in the seventh.

Durard was near flawless on Saturday, pitching all 10 innings and allowing just five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. She got plenty of offensive support early in both games.

Motlow scored two runs in the first inning of game one, added one more in the second, and then put a six on the scoreboard in the third inning. Thackerson and Hinshaw had two hits each, and Cooksey slammed a home run while Thackerson added a three-run triple.

The offense continued its effectiveness in the series finale, with Motlow scoring four runs in the bottom of the first inning, which was all Durard needed. In addition to her fine pitching, Durard added two doubles and drove in a pair of runs. Thackerson and Woodruff also had two hits each, and Owens drove in three runs with Hinshaw and Chelbie Gannon also driving in runs.

Kendall Durard
Motlow State pitcher Kendall Durard prepares to deliver a pitch during Motlow's series win over Cleveland State this past weekend at Lady Bucks Field. Durard, a freshman from Shelbyville, won three of the four games in the circle for the Lady Bucks, pitching 18 innings and allowing just one run and 10 total hits. Motlow will travel to Roane State this weekend, then return home to host Dyersburg State on March 23 & 24. Jeff Reed Photography.

Lady Bucks earn split in Meridian, open TCCAA play Friday at Chattanooga State

Feb. 26, 2018

Kendall Durard threw five shutout innings and the Lady Bucks stole seven bases as Motlow earned a split at the Rush Invitational by run-ruling Bevill State (Ala.) 11-0 Friday night in Meridian, Miss. The Lady Bucks dropped their opening game Friday 6-2 to Wallace State-Dothan (Ala.).

Motlow (3-5, 0-0) was scheduled to play three games in Meridian on Saturday, but rain washed out the entire day and the games were cancelled. The Lady Bucks will open TCCAA conference play this weekend with a four-game series at Chattanooga State. Friday's doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. central time, with Saturday's twinbill set for an 11 a.m. central start. The Lady Tigers are the defending conference champions and ranked No. 14 in the preseason NJCAA softball poll.

Durard was on target the entire contest, striking out six while scattering three hits and allowing only one walk. She got plenty of offensive help as the Lady Bucks scored once in the first inning, five in the second, three in the fourth and two more in the fifth inning.

Haley Hinshaw scored on a passed ball in the first after a one-out single and a stolen base. The Lady Bucks took advantage of five walks and an error to plate five runs in the second inning. Three errors helped Motlow score its three runs in the fourth, and the Lady Bucks pieced together five straight singles to score their final two runs.

Hinshaw went 2-3 with two runs scored and two runs batted in, while Samantha King had three hits and Madison Woodruff drove in three runs. Kylie Thackerson stole two bases, with Durard, Ace Hanson, Hinshaw, King and Ariel McAtee also notching stolen bases.

Jennifer Corbitt got the start in the circle in the first game and took the loss, allowing three runs in the second inning. King relieved her and pitched well, allowing no earned runs and only three hits with six strikeouts in the final five innings.

Motlow struggled to generate offense, scoring once in the fourth and again in the seventh. King slammed a long solo home run, her first of the season, in the fourth inning, and Woodruff drove in Hinshaw with a two-out single in the seventh. Woodruff had two hits in the contest.

Lady Bucks split doubleheader, head to Mississippi for Rush Invitational

Feb. 20, 2018

The Motlow Lady Bucks enjoyed their biggest offensive output of the young season when they beat the Martin Methodist College JV 14-2 in the second game of a doubleheader Monday afternoon in Pulaski. The Red Hawks won the opening game 1-0, scoring the lone run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Motlow (2-4, 0-0) will now embark on the season's longest road trip, heading to Meridian, Miss. this weekend to take part in the Rush Invitational Tournament. The Lady Bucks will play two games Friday and three Saturday, facing Northwest Florida State, Wallace State-Hanceville, Wallace State-Dothan, Spoon River, and East Mississippi respectively.

Following that trip, Motlow will open Tennessee Community College Athletic Association play when they travel to Chattanooga State for a four-game series March 2 & 3. Game times are 3 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday central time.

Kendall Durard was outstanding for the Lady Bucks in the circle in the opener Monday afternoon, allowing only two hits and three walks with seven strikeouts. However, MMC hurler Sydney Watson was equally impressive, allowing just three hits.

Neither team got a runner to third base until the bottom of the seventh inning, when the home team pieced together a leadoff double, a steal of third, and a sacrifice fly to get the win. Kylie Thackerson, Samantha King and Miranda Cooksey each had hits for the Lady Bucks.

Game two was a complete reversal. Motlow scored five runs in the first inning, one in the second, and six more in third. The Lady Bucks added a pair of runs in the fifth, as did the Red Hawks, and the game ended on the 10-run rule after five innings.

Six players had two hits each for Motlow; Ariel McAtee, Madison Hopkins, Breanna Owens, Durard, Ciera Dobbins and Caroline Sarris. Haley Hinshaw drove in three runs, while Dobbins, Chelbie Gannon and Ace Hanson each had two RBI.

Owens (1-0) got the win, pitching the first two innings and allowing two hits with two strikeouts. Samantha King pitched the next two innings and gave up just one hit, followed by Sarah Wilson who tossed the final inning and allowed four hits and the two runs.

Jennifer Corbitt currently leads the Lady Bucks with 10 or more at bats in hitting with a .545 batting average. McAtee leads in hits with seven, and Hinshaw is setting the pace in run production with nine runs batted in. The Lady Bucks have stolen 10 bases this season, with McAtee leading the way with four.

Caroline Sarris
Freshman Caroline Sarris had two hits and drove in a run during the Lady Bucks doubleheader Monday at Martin Methodist College JV in Pulaski. The Lady Bucks won the second game 14-2 after the home team took the opener 1-0. Motlow will travel to Meridian, Miss., this weekend to participate in the Rush Invitational Tournament.

Lady Bucks win softball season opener with dramatic seventh inning comeback

Feb. 14, 2018

Freshman Haley Hinshaw drove in classmate Ace Hanson with a two-out line drive to center field to cap a five-run seventh inning and give the Motlow Lady Bucks an 8-7 win over Northeast Mississippi in the softball season opener Thursday afternoon in Booneville, Miss.

The Lady Bucks (1-3, 0-0) dropped the second game of the doubleheader 7-4. Motlow resumed action on Tuesday, traveling to Decatur, Ala., where they fell short in a pair of games to Calhoun 3-0, 5-4. Next is a trip to Pulaski on Monday for a doubleheader against the Martin Methodist College JV, with the first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.

Heading into the seventh inning in game one in Booneville, the Lady Bucks trailed 7-3. With one out, Jennifer Corbitt started the rally with a double. Kylie Thackerson singled, with Corbitt advancing to third. On the first pitch to Madison Hopkins, Corbitt stole home and Thackerson stole second. Hopkins drew a walk and Thackerson advanced to third on a wild pitch.

Ariel McAtee then ran for Hopkins. With two outs McAtee stole second and Thackerson scored on a passed ball, closing the gap to 7-5. Madison Woodruff drew a walk before Breanna Owens singled to left, driving in McAtee and advancing Woodruff to second. Hanson then entered to run for Owens and advanced to second when Miranda Cooksey singled, scoring Woodruff on the throw. Hinshaw then delivered her game winner, with Hanson scoring on the throw from center field.

Corbitt got the win in the circle, pitching the final 1.2 innings with four strikeouts and only one hit allowed. Samantha King was the starter for Motlow, pitching four innings and allowing three runs. Sarah Wilson pitch the middle 1.1 innings and allowed four runs, although only one was earned.

Owens went 2-4 and drove in a run, while Cooksey was 2-3 and Hinshaw had a pair of runs batted in. Corbitt was 2-3 with two doubles, and the Lady Bucks stole six bases.

Game two saw Motlow get on the board with two runs in the second, but Northeast tied it with two of their own in the bottom of the inning, then scored four more in the third. The Lady Bucks fought back with two runs in the sixth, but a second comeback was not in store.

Corbitt (1-1) took the loss, allowing six runs with two strikeouts in her two innings of work. Owens pitched well over the final four innings, scattering five hits and allowing only one run with three strikeouts. McAtee went 3-4 and Hinshaw slammed a home run, while both Hinshaw and Chelbie Gannon drove in a pair of runs.

Game one against Calhoun featured a fine pitching performance by Calhoun's Sydnee Uhlman, who shut the Lady Bucks out, allowing six hits and striking out four. King (0-1) took the loss for Motlow, pitching 4.1 innings and allowing all three runs on eight hits with two strikeouts. Corbitt pitched the final 1.2 innings and allowed just one hit with one strikeout. Owens had a double, the only extra-base hit for Motlow.

The Lady Bucks led game two 4-1 after three and a half innings before the home team scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth and two more in the sixth to steal the win. The game was called after six innings due to darkness.

Kendall Durard (0-1) started in the circle, pitching into the sixth inning and allowing five hits with five strikeouts. Owens took over with one out and hit one batter, then walked in two batters, including the winning run. Hinshaw and Corbitt each had two hits, with Hinshaw slamming two doubles and driving in a pair of runs.

Haley Hinshaw
Motlow State freshman Haley Hinshaw makes a play in the field during the Lady Bucks' 8-7 win over Northeast Mississippi last week in Booneville. Hinshaw drove in the winning run with a single in the seventh inning, and is off to a hot start at the plate for the Lady Bucks, driving in six runs with a pair of doubles and a home run in the first week of the season.

Freshmen will be counted on early when Lady Bucks open softball season Feb. 6

Feb. 1, 2018

Head Coach Janice Morey enters her third season at the helm of the Motlow Lady Bucks with five returning sophomores, one transfer sophomore, and 12 freshmen on her 2018 softball roster.

The Lady Bucks will open the season Tuesday, Feb. 6, with a 1 p.m. doubleheader against Northeast Mississippi in Booneville, Miss. Following a trip to Meridian, Miss., and a conference-opening road trip to defending champion Chattanooga State, Motlow will play its first home game on Tuesday, Mar. 6, against visiting non-conference opponent Calhoun from Decatur, Ala.

Morey will lean on her returning sophomores heavily to provide leadership and production, especially in the early going as the freshmen get accustomed to the college game.

"Breanna Owens, Sarah Wilson and Ciera Dobbins return to the infield, while Chelbie Gannon and Miranda Cooksey return in the outfield," said Morey. "The addition of a local familiar face to the sophomore list, Mattie Woodruff, is expected to contribute to our team in big ways both offensively and defensively."

The Lady Bucks' leading returning hitter is Fayetteville's Owens, who garnered 141 at bats last season and hit .298 with 11 doubles, 16 runs batted in and six stolen bases. Owens also went 6-16 in the circle in 2017 with a 5.51 earned run average and 57 strikeouts in 128 innings pitched.

Lewisburg native Cooksey returns after getting 107 plate appearances and hitting .252 with nine doubles, two home runs and 15 RBI. Shelbyville's Gannon hit .240 with seven doubles and 14 RBI, and LaVergne's Dobbins hit .220 in 132 at-bats with five doubles and nine RBI. Sparta's Wilson returns in the circle, where she went 5-16 with a 6.23 earned run average in 139 innings.

Rutherford County native Woodruff has joined the Lady Bucks as a sophomore after a stellar prep career at Riverdale High School, where she was named Region 7-AAA Most Valuable Player following her senior season.

There remains a lot of playing time available and a significant amount of expectation on the incoming freshmen. Coach Morey is excited to add to her pitching staff and to add more speed to this year's squad.

"A pair of freshman pitchers, Samantha King and Kendall Durard, should definitely contribute to the existing pitching staff in a positive way for us," added Morey. "Having speed on the bases will be new for us as Kylie Thackerson, Ariel McAtee and Ace Hanson all bring that element to our team."

Madison Hopkins is from Lewisburg and played at Cornersville, Haley Hinshaw was a member of the standout program at Coffee County, and McAtee played at Stewarts Creek High School in Smyrna.

Thackerson was a standout at Scottsboro High School just across the state line, Jennifer Corbitt comes west after playing at Bradley Central, and Morey picked up a pair of players from Hendersonville in Hanson and Annsley Kalamon.

Caroline Sarris came the farthest to wear the green gold after attending Kell High School in Acworth, Ga. Morey continues to sign some of the area's best players, including Durard from Shelbyville and Emily Parks, who played her prep ball at Moore County.

Perhaps the most heralded freshman is standout pitcher King, who played at Forrest High School in Chapel Hill. She pitched the Lady Rockets to the Class A state championship game and was named all-state after her senior season.

The Lady Bucks were barraged with injuries and attrition in 2017 and finished the season with a 13-35 record and an early exit from the TCCAA tournament. In Morey's first season, her Lady Bucks sported a 28-24 mark and played into the third round of the conference tournament. This year's TCCAA tournament will be held at Chattanooga State beginning May 6.

2018 Softball Team
Members of the 2018 Motlow Lady Bucks softball team, front row from left: Ace Hanson, Nikita McCreary, Kendall Durard, Sarah Wilson and Breanna Owens. Second row from left: Ariel McAtee, Kylie Thackerson, Miranda Cooksey, Caroline Sarris, Madison Hopkins and Madison Woodruff. Back row from left: Emily Parks, Haley Hinshaw, Chelbie Gannon, Samantha King, Ciera Dobbins, Annsley Kalamon and Jennifer Corbitt. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.

Lady Bucks softball schedule features first month on the road

Jan. 5, 2018

If you want to see the Motlow Lady Bucks play softball early this season you are going to have to travel, as the Lady Bucks will spend the first month of the 2018 campaign on the road.

Practice officially begins Jan. 10 for the Lady Bucks under third-year Head Coach Janice Morey. The season opens Tuesday, Feb. 6, with a 1 p.m. doubleheader at Northeast Mississippi in Booneville. Motlow's first 18 games will be played on the road, including trips to Decatur, Ala., and Meridian, Miss. The Lady Bucks will open conference play on the road at defending TCCAA champion Chattanooga State March 2.

The Lady Bucks will finally play in front of their home crowd on Tuesday, March 6, when Calhoun visits for a 1 p.m. doubleheader. Including the Calhoun date, 24 of Motlow's final 36 games are scheduled to be played at Lady Bucks Field on the Moore County campus.

Motlow will play nine TCCAA conference series, with five at home and four on the road. Each conference series consists of a doubleheader on both Friday and Saturday. The first home conference series is March 9-10, with Cleveland State visiting.

The Lady Bucks have 10 consecutive games scheduled at home from March 20-31. The following two weekends they are on the road before finishing the regular season with back-to-back home series against Walters State and Southwest Tennessee, with the final play date scheduled for April 28. This year’s conference tournament will begin May 6 at Chattanooga State.

Janice Morey
Motlow State softball Head Coach Janice Morey will take her third Motlow team on the practice field Jan. 10 as they begin preparation for the 2018 season, which opens Feb. 6 with a doubleheader at Northeast Mississippi in Booneville. Morey's team will play its first 18 games on the road, then play 24 of its final 36 at home. The first home game is March 6, when Calhoun visits for a 1 p.m. doubleheader. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.

Lady Bucks stretch recruiting focus to rebuild Motlow State softball roster

June 20, 2017

The Motlow State Community College softball program is stretching its recruiting focus and adding some of the immediate area's top talent in hopes of repositioning itself back into championship contention, according to Head Coach Janice Morey.

Breanna Owens
Motlow State rising sophomore Breanna Owens is one of five returning players who will be counted on to lead the Lady Bucks during the 2018 season. Owens, from Fayetteville, batted .298 last year with 11 doubles and 16 runs batted in. She also had six stolen bases and struck out only eight times in 141 plate appearances. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.
Motlow has signed 14 incoming freshmen to National Letters of Intent, including 12 from Tennessee, one from Alabama and one from Georgia. The Lady Bucks will return five from the 2017 squad, with all five being from Motlow's service area.

Although the majority of student-athletes on the roster will be from Tennessee, Morey and her staff have worked hard at identifying talent from outside Motlow's service area, which stretches from Rutherford County to White County to Huntsville, Alabama.

"Softball is a very strong sport on the high school level in the state of Tennessee," said Morey. "We feel confident we can build a program that consistently contends for conference championships with student-athletes from our state. At the same time, we aren’t bound by state lines and we always want to be open to expanding our recruiting focus."

Incoming freshmen who will be counted on to contribute to the 2018 edition of the Lady Bucks, and their hometown and high school, includes:

Jennifer Corbitt, McDonald, Bradley Central; Kendall Durard, Shelbyville, Shelbyville Central; Katelyn Elliott, McEwen; Alessandria Hanson, Hendersonville; Haley Hinshaw, Hillsboro, Coffee County Central; Madison Hopkins, Lewisburg, Cornersville; Annsley Kalamon, Hendersonville; Samantha King, Columbia, Forrest; Ariel McAtee, Smyrna, Stewarts Creek; Emily Parks, Tullahoma, Moore County; Geneva Tackett, McMinnville, Warren County; and Skyler Youngblood, McMinnville, Warren County.

Freshmen from outside Tennessee are Caroline Sarris from Kell High School in Acworth, Georgia, and Kylie Thackerson from Scottsboro High School in Scottsboro, Alabama.

The 14 freshmen will join five returning sophomores for the Lady Bucks: Miranda Cooksey, Ciera Dobbins, Chelbie Gannon, Breanna Owens and Sarah Beth Wilson.

The Lady Bucks can carry up to 20 players on the roster, which leaves Coach Morey with the availability to sign another student-athlete prior to the upcoming season. Motlow softball will play an exhibition schedule in the fall and open the 2018 season in early February.

Motlow Lady Bucks Softball Camp begins June 13

May 10, 2017

The Motlow State Lady Bucks will hold their annual softball camp June 13-15 on Motlow's Moore County campus, according to Janice Morey, head coach of the Lady Bucks. Participants who register for the camp by June 6 will receive a free camp T-shirt.

2017 Softball Camp Registration Form

The camp will be split into two divisions - beginner and advanced. The beginner camp will be all three days from 9-11:30 a.m. The advanced camp will be all three days from 1-4 p.m. The camp fee is $75, but discounts are available for multiple siblings and for Motlow State employee children.

Campers will be taught fundamental skills in defense, hitting, bunting and base running. Registration forms can be found on the Motlow State athletics website at MotlowSports.com/Softball. For more information, or to register for camp, contact Coach Morey at 931-393-1617 or jmorey@mscc.edu.

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