Panther softball suffers early setback

Published 2:54 pm Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Almost as soon as the season began, the Georgiana softball team suffered a pair of losses to their depth.

The Panthers were leading Hillcrest 10-3 when injuries struck not once, but twice.

“We lost two players to broken ankles,” said head coach Michael Spencer.

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Katie Mixon was covering first base on the defensive side of the ball when her injury occurred.

Meanwhile, the Panthers lost Iesha McCall when she took an awkward step rounding second base.

Then the Panthers had to fill those gaps with eighth and ninth graders.

“We brought in a few players out of the outfield to cover the infield spots,” Spencer said. “We had to put people out of position.”

From that point, the Panthers struggled and lost 13-10.

Youth will be one of Georgiana’s main factors this season.

“Those eighth graders were not scared when I put them out in the field,” Spencer said.

The younger players will have to step up, since there were only five returning starters before Mixon and McCall went down.

The three remaining starters from last season are Anna Nelson, Sha’Kayla Mixon and Michelle Campbell.

Nelson returns in her position as the Panthers’ ace pitcher.

“She’s not in midseason form quite yet, but she’s still striking a lot of people out,” Spencer said.

Several of the younger players that will see action are Taylor Coxwell, Courtney Mixon and Kenya Loveless.

“Taylor played for us last year as a seventh grader, but she’s an eighth grader now,” Spencer said. “Courtney has made some plays for us, and she’s continuing to develop as a player. Kenya has taken up center field for us, but she just lacks experience.”

Spencer said the team will continue to work hard to overcome inexperience.

“These young girls are playing hard, and we’re going to get better,” he said.