Hanahan Hawks softball team looking for a triple

Team to push for third consecutive state title as new season launches

The 2019 edition of the Hanahan High School softball program has a challenging act to follow. The Hawks enter the season with 61 victories in their last 69 games and two of those victories came in the Class AAA state championships.

However, the team lost six players to graduation, while another starter will miss the upcoming season because of a hip injury. Coach Katrina Moffett knows the team must find replacements and chemistry.

Can the Hawks claim a third consecutive state title?

“It all depends,” said Moffett, who is in her ninth year as coach. “There are a lot of factors that come into play. We will have a stronger region this year with Georgetown and Waccamaw. That makes it more competitive for us. We also have to find that chemistry, the way we play and communicate on the field.”

The Hawks lost a ton of talent last year and six starters from 2018 will play at the college level this spring, including Jordan Fabian (University of South Carolina), Drayton Seiling (College of Charleston), Ashley Meckley (Coker), Kaitlyn Farmer (Brevard College) and Allison Harless (USC-Beaufort).

Only three players who saw the field on a regular basis return. They include Ashlynn Cribb, Jill Courtney, and a pitcher with a most appropriate name: Golden Thrower.

Cribb, who will play at the next level for Charleston Southern University, spent most of last season in center field, but look for her to handle most of the catching duties this spring because of her softball knowledge and leadership abilities.

Courtney is penciled in as the team’s right fielder.

“Courtney has big power,” Moffett said. “Courtney and Ashlynn both have very good bats and provide leadership.

Thrower, the pitcher, was on the team last spring and knows that hard work pays off. She’s a lefty and is deceptive because of her pitching motion.

Last year, the Hawks swept Palmetto in the best-of-three state championship series. The year before, the Hawks needed three games and 12 innings in the deciding contest to claim the state title over Crescent.

“We’ve had some great teams in past years,” Moffett said. “We talk to the (younger) players about how they worked hard on the field. The younger players definitely had great role models.”

The back-to-back state titles give the Hawks three state championship crowns since 2008.

“I knew when I took the job this was a very good program” Moffett said. “I wouldn’t say I’m surprised with our success. I am proud of our success.”

Moffett will use daily practices, scrimmages and early games to figure out the rest of the lineup. The starting lineup should solidify by the time they compete in the Palmetto Invitational at Wescott Park. The tourney will provide plenty of competition.

“We will be ready to go,” Moffett said. “Right now, I just wish the weather was a little better. It’s going to be tough to repeat because of the players we lost. But we have talent and just need some of the players to step into leadership roles. So far, it’s been so good.”

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