Hanahan Hawks girls' softball team winds up for new season
The Hanahan Hawk softball team celebrated a season for the ages last spring, posting a 30-4 record with an exclamation point: an elusive state championship that came in the 12th inning in the third and final game of the championship series against Crescent.
Last year’s state title was the Hawks first since 2008, so coach Katrina Moffett and crew know that titles are often hard to come by - and must be achieved with hard work, talent and perhaps a little luck.
“It’s always good to win that last game of the season,” said Moffett, who is in her seventh year at the school. “A lot of the seniors want to go back to the state championship, and they know it takes a lot of work to get back there.”
The team lost four seniors from last year’s squad including Kendall Grubb, who had the game-winning hit in the 8-7 victory over Crescent. Another senior who had a key role in the game was pitcher MacKenzie Dyson, who came in in relief in the third inning and held Crescent scoreless until the game went to international tiebreaker rules in the ninth inning.
Dyson pitched 10 innings, allowing seven hits with a record four strikeouts.
Moffett knows replacing the ace of the staff will be a challenge.
“Last year, we had a dominating 1-2 punch. We still have Drayton Siegling, who will be our No. 1 pitcher. The big question is who will be No. 2? Who will step up and take that role?”
The team has plenty of time to hone its skills until the March 5 season opener against Stratford. The program will have a handful of new players this spring and Moffett still hasn’t had a practice that includes all the players because seven softballers are still playing basketball.
Moffett said having that state title experience will be a big plus for the team, which has eight seniors on the roster.
“They have that expectation. They know what it takes,” she said. “The players are more mature and I know they will play with a lot more heart.”
Siegling will be the No. 1 pitcher and the catching position is owned by Jordan Fabian, who will be in her third year as a starter.
The infield has three starters returning: second baseman Rachel Shelley, shortstop Ashley Meckley and Emily Elmore at third base. Moffett said Shelley will be challenged by two other players.
Designated hitter Madeline Ferris will be the starting first baseman.
Ashlyn Cribb is the outfielder with the most experience. She will move from left field to center field for 2018. The other two outfield spots will be determined in the next two to three weeks.
The Hawks will get a preseason tune-up by competing in the Battle on the Bases Feb. 23-24 and will also compete in the Azalea Invitational Tournament over spring break.
“Our region isn’t that strong, so we welcome the competition,” Moffett said. “We saw some good pitching in the AIT, and that level of competition propelled us into the playoffs.”