By Gene Stanley/Sports Correspondent
Behind the pitching of senior Bethany Chamblee, the defense and the hitting ability of the entire lineup, Sardis High is having a great softball season so far.
The Lions currently are ranked fifth in Class 4A with an 18-4-2 record.
In Mary Beth Gilliland’s first season as coach last year, the Lions made the Class 3A North Regional Tournament, where they went 1-2.
“We started slow but have really come on,” Gilliland said. “I think we’ve got a good shot at making the playoffs again.”
The Lions have already beaten all three of their Area 15 rivals in Crossville, Douglas and Guntersville.
A big part of that success is Chamblee’s ability to keep most teams’ batters off-balance.
“Bethany doesn’t have an overpowering pitch,” Gilliland said. “But she’s got enough pitches and the control it takes to get some strikeouts.
“In fact, she’s striking out more than I thought she would.”
Chamblee signed a softball scholarship to Gadsden State earlier this year.
Freshman Mallory Gazaway also is contributing on the mound and is being prepped to be the No. 1 pitcher next season.
As for the defense, it’s solid at every position.
Senior shortstop and Shorter College signee Kameron Carter is the engine that powers the Sardis offense.
“She’s a pretty solid hitter,” Gilliland said. “She’s already got eight home runs, I think it is.”
Carter, however, is not the team’s only good hitter. Chamblee, senior first baseman Jodie Fobbus, senior second baseman Payton Gowen and senior center fielder and Krista Hubbard all have come up big at the plate. Hubbard recently signed with Alabama Southern.
“If we can keep the bats hot, we’ve got a chance to make a little noise,” Gilliland said. “We’re winning by playing well in all three aspects of the game.”