By Gene Stanley/Correspondent
Now that softball is once again upon the agenda at Gadsden State Community College, coach Jeanne Kerr can’t wait to get the program back to where it should be.
Two years ago, many junior colleges around the state started cutting some athletics because of funding problems. Softball, baseball, tennis and cross country were eliminated from Gadsden State, with last year being the final season.
However, the softball and tennis programs were reinstated, with baseball and cross country not being able to field a team this year.
“Last year was rough,” Kerr said. “Everyone thought it was our final season, so recruiting was very hard. Very few wanted to sign for only one year. Now that softball isn’t cut, the recruiting has picked up.”
As a result of the above problem, there are currently only three sophomores in Lori Johnson, Rachel Stewart and Carrianne Hester.
“All three of them are good softball players, good students and good people,” Kerr said. “They’re the type of girls you want on your team. But now we’ve got 17 freshmen, so numbers shouldn’t be a problem this year.”
Johnson, who will pitch this year, played shortstop in 2012 because of depth problems. Stewart is the second baseman and Hester plays first base. Hester will also pitch at times.
Gadsden State had only 12 players last year, and for most of the season, only eight were healthy. Kerr said she put an injured player in right field and hoped for the best.
“I’m so glad they reinstated softball,” Kerr said. “It was more of an excuse than anything, but when you almost can’t field a full team, it’s tough.”
The Cardinals finished the 2012 season with a 10-30 record.
“We’ve got a very good freshman class now, and I truly hope to see some improvement,” she said. “My expectations are for us to have a good season. Hopefully last year was an aberration.”
The GSCC freshman class includes Southside’s Katie Garner and Sardis’ Dreama Holliday.