Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

January 28, 2013

Troup Lady Tiger softball returns nucleus from last year’s 30-win team

Jay Neal
Jacksonville Daily Progress

TROUP — Twenty twelve was a great year for Troup High School softball and 2013 could be even better.

Last year the Lady Tigers, who are coached by Samantha “Sam” Weeks, went 30-8, breezed through district play with a spotless 12-0 record and advanced all the way to the Class 2A, Region II semi-final.

Those lofty achievements were all firsts in school history.

Having lost only a pair of players off of the 2012 team to graduation, plus having a strong crop of freshmen to choose from has Weeks feeling pretty good about the Lady Tigers' chances this spring.

“We only lost two players from last season (but) they both were starters,” Weeks said. “We have several freshmen out this year, so I don't think that we will have a problem in filling those spots.”

Troup, once again, has just two seniors this year as well.

Senior catcher Katelyn Standley, a Stephen F. Austin State University signee, and outfielder Ronni Boyer are both back for their final season in maroon and white.

The Lady Tigers have four juniors on the roster.

That group includes, outfielders Cheyenne Kirkland and Jaclyn Bender and infielders Bethany Mason and Caitlin Tomlin.

Two of the Lady Tigers' pitchers — Josee Ross and Lee Ann Lloyd — are sophomores.

Ross got the bulk of the innings in 2012 and performed brilliantly in the circle and went on to win numerous post-season rewards.

Miranda Flora (catcher/utility) and McKenzie Hugghins are the Lady Tigers' remaining 10th graders.

Five freshmen have won spots on the varsity roster.

They include Jordan Lynn, who is listed as a pitcher/utility player and Madison Martin, Lauren Mekalip, Macey Mannix and Emily Stone who are all utility players.

Weeks has put together a very challenging non-district schedule for the Lady Tigers.

Troup opens up on Feb. 12 with a trip down to Elkhart.

On Valentine's weekend (Feb. 14-16) the Lady Tigers will play in the Carthage Tournament, which always seems to draw a tough field of quality teams from far East Texas.

Carthage will then visit Troup for the Lady Tigers' home opener, which is slated for 6 p.m. on Feb. 19.

The Lady Tigers will wrap up non-conference play by taking part in the Mesquite Tournament (Feb. 21-23)and by visiting Mineola on Feb. 26.

Mineola is ranked No. 4 in the TGCA Class 2A Pre-Season Poll.

District play begins at home on March 1 when Sabine's Lady Cardinals come to town.

Assisting Weeks with the coaching duties will be assistant coaches Janna Ross and Adam Thomas.