Elaina Wolfe-Carper was a good softball player during her undergraduate days at Craig County High School, and the former Rocket catcher is now in command of the fleet. Elaina takes over as head coach at Craig County as the Rockets prepare to host James Monroe in the season opener this Wednesday.
“The girls have been working hard and we’re anxious to get started,” said Wolfe-Carper. “We’re still trying to decide some infield positions, but we have some good players.”
The Rockets will look different on the mound, as four-year ace pitcher Olivia Garman graduated. She could be counted on for seven solid innings every game and she’ll be missed. In fact, it will take several girls to replace her.
Three juniors, Maggie Huffman, Kaylee Pauley and Keiley Dudding, will all see time on the mound. None of the three is as fast as Garman, but if they can get the ball over the plate Craig’s defense should be good enough to win plenty of games. Hannah Taylor, who is expected to split time between the jayvee and varsity, could also see some time on the mound.
Mackenzie Hutchinson returns behind the plate, and she’s a solid backstop with experience. Freshman Autumn Hutchison backs her up.
Slugging senior Tierrney Zysk returns at first base. A four year starter, she had four home runs last year and is a threat to “go yard” every time she steps to the plate.
The other three infield positions are up for grabs. All three junior pitchers also play the infield and sophomore Jaci McAlwee is a secondbaseman, junior Tracy Kendall is a shortstop and junior Elizabeth Howard will see time at third. Who plays where will often depend on who is on the mound.
Outfielders are Maddie Oliver, Sadie McAllister and Madison Hannah. Wolfe-Carper will be assisted by Leeann Mattox and Sierra Frazier will be the junior varsity coach.
After today’s home opener the Rockets won’t play again until a home game with Bath County on March 22, and then they’re in the “Botetourt Bash” at the Botetourt Sports Complex on March 23 and 24.