Picking up where they left off

Published 10:16 pm Monday, March 7, 2011

Nansemond River’s Amanda Lafferty starts a swing during Monday’s softball scrimmage against Tallwood. The Lady Warriors, 8-10 a season ago, start this spring’s season on March 15 against city rival King’s Fork.

Tim Tarafas knows his Nansemond River softball team was playing its best when last season came to an end.

At the same time, having momentum from nearly 10 months ago doesn’t always carry over to a brand new season. Having most of the same lineup back helps.

Monday’s night’s scrimmage against visiting Tallwood was only the opening scrimmage of the Lady Warrior season as Nansemond River tries to build on last season’s 8-10 record and move up the couple steps needed to reach the district postseason. The lineup Tarafas sent to the plate, though, boasted returning Lady Warriors in spots one through eight.

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“In the second half of last year we started to build confidence,” Tarafas said.

The Lady Warriors lost players at two spots, pitcher and catcher, that will naturally make a coach concerned this close to the start of another season.

In the circle, departed senior Rachel Hawks pitched most of the innings last season. Sophomore Sydney Glover and senior Randi-Jo Coffey saw some action, though, with Glover starting a number of games late in the season.

Two experienced pitchers puts the Lady Warriors well ahead of what some high school squads have, and with Glover, there’s good reason Tarafas was OK putting her in charge as a freshman.

“Sydney’s very capable. I think she’s going to be a rising star in the district,” Tarafas said.

Behind the plate, Anna Cain was equally dependable and outstanding as an all-district catcher through the past three years. Cain was excellent defensively and called all the pitches herself behind the plate while getting hits and RBIs at the plate.

“You don’t replace a player like Anna. It’s about impossible, but Loren (Daubenspeck) is a leader and she’s already doing a great job,” Tarafas said.

Daubenspeck’s a multi-sport athlete and, now a senior, has played multiple positions in the infield and outfield for the Lady Warriors in the past couple seasons.

Seniors Alex Keiser at shortstop and Kayla Coburn at second base give the Lady Warriors a middle infield combo with many innings working together.

“Even tonight, from warm-ups on we had a focus I want in a team,” Tarafas said.

The Lady Warriors start out with back-to-back important games right away. Nansemond River plays at city rival King’s Fork on Tuesday, March 15 followed by the home opener against perennial district power Western Branch on March 18.

Nansemond River softball 2011 schedule

Games start at 5:30 p.m. unless noted, home games are in CAPS

  • Tues. 3/15 at King’s Fork
  • Fri. 3/18 WESTERN BRANCH
  • Tues. 3/22 OSCAR SMITH
  • Fri. 3/25 at Indian River
  • Tues. 3/29 at Great Bridge
  • Wed. 3/30 at Landstown
  • Fri. 4/1 HICKORY
  • Tues. 4/5 GRASSFIELD
  • Thurs. 4/7 at Deep Creek
  • Tues. 4/12 LAKELAND
  • Thurs. 4/14 KING’S FORK
  • Tues. 4/26 at Western Branch
  • Fri. 4/29 at Oscar Smith
  • Tues. 5/3 INDIAN RIVER
  • Fri. 5/6 GREAT BRIDGE
  • Tues. 5/10 at Hickory
  • Fri. 5/13 at Grassfield
  • Mon. 5/16 DEEP CREEK
  • Wed. 5/18 at Lakeland