Lady Knights hope ‘for a very good year’

Published 9:20 am Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Buckingham County High School’s varsity softball team has a mixture of experience and youth that Head Coach Mark Christian believes can propel the Lady Knights to an outstanding year.

Last season, Buckingham struggled to get games in, with rain serving as a frequent companion during the season, and the team finished with a 7-9 overall record after falling to Dan River High School in the first round of the Region 2C tournament.

“I feel like we should be better than we were last year,” Christian said prior to the Lady Knights’ first game of the season Monday. “I’m hoping so. We do have a good core group of girls coming back, and we added some young girls, and I’m hoping that the experience I have will help the younger girls develop, and I’m hoping for a very good season.”

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Buckingham fell 5-0 to host Amelia County High School on Monday, but plenty of time remains for the team to lock in and to figure out the best player combinations to put on the field.

“We have a lot of interchangeable parts, we have people that can play multiple positions, and that’s a good thing,” Christian said. “And we have some depth this year that we haven’t had in complete years past, which is a good thing. If somebody goes into a slump, we’ve got somebody that can step in and fill the void.”

The 2019 Lady Knights are comprised of two seniors, five juniors, three sophomores and three freshmen.

The coach knows who he wants to shoulder most of the load in the circle — junior Mia Garrett.

“Mia’s who we’re looking to, and we hope that she can have a good year,” he said.

Other girls that can contribute as pitchers include freshman Eliza Ragland and junior Kaya Amos.

On offense, there are some key returners.

“Last year, Alivia Newton, she won our batting title,” Christian said of the junior. “We’ve got a lot of hitters, a lot of girls that made good contact last year and had good batting averages. I hope that they can continue in that direction …”

The coach said Garrett “swings a very good stick.”

He also took a moment to highlight junior Tyshea Chambers.

“She’s one I’m expecting some big hits out of this year,” he said. “She’s a returner, and she was like a utility person last year, and this year I think she’s going evolve into a catcher for us. That’s what we’re working on is trying to figure out exactly who’s going to catch, and I believe that she’s going to get that nod.”

Christian said senior center fielder Jayda Chambers is captain of the outfield, and senior Shamari Wingfield, back after missing last season due to a knee injury, is expected to play in left field.

The coach noted he is excited to have added to the team freshmen Cadence Campbell, Ragland and Elizabeth Dunkum.

“They’re going to push the other girls, for sure,” he said.

After a Thursday home game, Buckingham visits Nottoway High School on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.