MCP Fall Sports Preview


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a grind, like when you're playing back-to- back-to-back nights and when you're play- ing on the road." McDonald County's strengths start in the pitching circle with the return of junior Nevaeh Dodson, who provided vital pitch- ing support last season when two-time all-state selection Madeline McCall, now playing for Pittsburg State University, suffered an injury. Dodson finished the year with an 8-4 record and a 3.22 ERA and won the team's Lady Mustang Award. "We'll be in good shape there," said Alumbaugh. "Nevaeh came in last year and ended up throwing 12 games when Made- line was hurt. We didn't have a letdown because she was there. Now we're handing off the baton to her and she's going to give us a chance to win every night because she's going to throw strikes." While Alumbaugh said Dodson will get the majority of innings in the circle, he also mentioned sophomores Vivianne Latham and Jaylee Brock as "great count- ers" to what Dotson does. "I can't say you won't see them. You will," he said. "But Nevaeh will get the majority of it." No matter which pitcher is in the circle, Alumbaugh said each will throw a lot of strikes, which is why making the routine plays behind them is going to be a priority. And making the routine plays is what Alumbaugh believes his defense will do best. "We're not flashy," he said, "but I think we're going to be very fundamentally sound defensively and just make routine plays." Reagan Myrick, a senior who was named the team's Best All-Around Outfielder last year, returns as a four-year starter in center field with three-year starters Carlee Cooper (Best All-Around Infielder) at shortstop and Katelynn Townsend at catcher. Both are juniors, as is Jacie Frencken, who provides a quick glove and strong arm at third base. Frencken shared the team's Most Improved Award last season with senior Maggie Pratt, who is competing for play- ing time at second base with junior Natalie Gillming. Alumbaugh said seniors Kylan Sher- man and Amanda Pacheco are battling for the starting job at first base with junior Ashleigh Dornon and seniors Alexis Abbott and Analisa Ramirez working to shore up the outfield. The Lady Mustangs' offensive approach will be spurred by a lethal combination of speed and power. "When we get on base we have speed from the top to the bottom of the lineup to put pressure on a defense, to steal some bases and do some things," Alumbaugh said. "We absolutely have plenty of pop in the middle of the lineup. We have the bats that can drive in runs which, when you can put speed on the bases and pressure the defense, and then turn around and hit doubles, that creates problems." Dodson is one of the team's top return- ing hitters after posting a .480 batting average while driving in 23 runs. Myrick hit .454 while driving in 27 runs, while Frencken hit .337 with 31 RBIs. Cooper notched a .343 average. No matter which combination is on the field, Alumbaugh knows his team will have to be ready each game. "The big thing is that we've got to show up and compete every night," he said. "We've got to show up ready to work because there will be people gunning for us. There is every year." 1451 BELLA VISTA WAY BELLA VISTA, AR 479-855-3053 7:30 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. MON - FRI 8:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. SAT CLOSED SUNDAY Supplies For Your Home Projects!!! We are your community hardware store A proud supporter of our local athletes! 417-451-1515 This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Thursday, August 25, 2022 McDonald County Press 5C F a l l S p o r t S p r e v i e w CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4C SOFTBALL: Coach Says Team 'Not Flashy' But 'Fundamentally Sound Defensively' McDonalD county softball scheDule Date Opponent Level Time Aug. 20 at Kickapoo Jamboree V (n) Aug. 27 at Quapaw V/JV 10 a.m. Aug. 29 Ozark V/JV 4:30 p.m. Aug. 30 at Joplin V/JV 4:30 p.m. Aug. 30 at Commerce Tourn. (9th) TBA Sept. 1 Marshfield* V/JV 4:30 p.m. Sept. 2 at Willard V/JV 4 p.m. Sept. 6 at Reeds Spring* V/JV 4:30 p.m. Sept. 8 Aurora* V/JV 4:30 p.m. Sept. 9-10 Take the Lake Tourn. V TBA Sept. 12 Neosho V/JV 4:30 p.m. Sept. 13 at Seneca* V/JV 4:30 p.m. Sept. 14 Carthage V 4:30 p.m. Sept. 15 Cassville* V/JV 4:30 p.m. Sept. 19 Nixa V/JV 4:30 p.m. Sept. 22 New Covenant Academy JV 4:30 p.m. Sept. 23-24 UCM Tourn. V TBA Sept. 26 at Glendale V/JV 4:30 p.m. Sept. 28 Nevada* V/JV 4:30 p.m. Sept. 29 Logan-Rogersville* V/JV 4:30 p.m. Oct. 1 Carthage JV Tourn. JV TBA Oct. 3 at Webb City V/JV 4:30 p.m. Oct. 4 at Monett* V/JV 4:30 p.m. Oct. 6 at New Covenant Academy JV 4:30 p.m. Oct. 7-10 at Carthage Tourn. V TBA Oct. 11-15 at District Tourn. V TBA * Big 8 Conference

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