the 2002 season, the Shawnee State Softball Team has high hopes of
returning to the NAIA National Tournament where they finished 9th in
2001. The Bears' hopes will once again hinge on a pair of
freshman pitchers and solid defense.
Base: Freshman Megan Felts and senior Amanda Crawford will
share time at first base, with Crawford getting the majority of
starts there. Crawford started all 43 games for SSU last
season. She hit .283 and drove in 16 runs. Felts is a
power-hitting freshman who will see time on the pitching rubber as
Base: Sophomore Candy Pickelsimer started all 43 games at
2nd base last season. She hit .271 and scored 19 runs.
She stole 12 bases on 14 attempts. She is extremely solid on
Stop: Freshman Nikki Moore takes over at short stop.
She was an all-district performer in high school and should make the
transition to college ball with ease.
Base: Freshman Katie Gunnoe takes over for AMC Player of
the Year, Brandy Orsborne. She earned all-state honors in high
school. She should provide a lot of offensive pop in the
middle of the line up.
Field: All-AMC performer, Kristen Graham returns to left
field and the lead off position in the line up. She was second
on the team in hitting with a .309 average. She drove in 15
runs and scored 16.
Field: Sophomore Kristi Coleman takes over in center field.
She is extremely talented both offensively and defensively.
She joined the squad late in the season last year and appeared in
four games during the National Tournament.
Field: Sophomore Keri Bennet once again patrols right
field. She led the team in outfield assists last season and
provided many highlight quality plays throughout the year. She
hit .308 on the season.
Senior Carrie Kyne returns for her third season behind the plate for
the Bears. She hit .260 on the year and led the team with 23
RBI and 15 walks. Katie Gunnoe could also see some time
Gone are All-Conference honorees Erica Brickey and Ashley Rawson.
However, the Bears have restocked with two very talented freshmen
and sophomore Sarah Workman. Rhonda Sacks will pick up the
bulk of the pitching chores followed closely by Megan Felts.
All three are extremely talented and should keep the Bears in
position to win game-in, game-out.
his team's youth, Coach Ralph Cole is optimistic about the upcoming
season. "We started out last season with almost all
freshmen. After a 3-8 start we were really able to turn it
around. We'll probably take some lumps early on this season,
but I think we'll be alright in the long run."
State opens the season on March 25 in Pensacola, FL. The Bears
take on Lindenwood University at the University of West Florida
Spring Fling. SSU opens play at home on Friday, April 12, as
they host AMC rival, Cedarville University.