2017-18 Softball News

Lady Bucks earn split in Meridian, open TCCAA play Friday at Chattanooga State

Feb. 26, 2018

Kendall Durard threw five shutout innings and the Lady Bucks stole seven bases as Motlow earned a split at the Rush Invitational by run-ruling Bevill State (Ala.) 11-0 Friday night in Meridian, Miss. The Lady Bucks dropped their opening game Friday 6-2 to Wallace State-Dothan (Ala.).

Motlow (3-5, 0-0) was scheduled to play three games in Meridian on Saturday, but rain washed out the entire day and the games were cancelled. The Lady Bucks will open TCCAA conference play this weekend with a four-game series at Chattanooga State. Friday's doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. central time, with Saturday's twinbill set for an 11 a.m. central start. The Lady Tigers are the defending conference champions and ranked No. 14 in the preseason NJCAA softball poll.

Durard was on target the entire contest, striking out six while scattering three hits and allowing only one walk. She got plenty of offensive help as the Lady Bucks scored once in the first inning, five in the second, three in the fourth and two more in the fifth inning.

Haley Hinshaw scored on a passed ball in the first after a one-out single and a stolen base. The Lady Bucks took advantage of five walks and an error to plate five runs in the second inning. Three errors helped Motlow score its three runs in the fourth, and the Lady Bucks pieced together five straight singles to score their final two runs.

Hinshaw went 2-3 with two runs scored and two runs batted in, while Samantha King had three hits and Madison Woodruff drove in three runs. Kylie Thackerson stole two bases, with Durard, Ace Hanson, Hinshaw, King and Ariel McAtee also notching stolen bases.

Jennifer Corbitt got the start in the circle in the first game and took the loss, allowing three runs in the second inning. King relieved her and pitched well, allowing no earned runs and only three hits with six strikeouts in the final five innings.

Motlow struggled to generate offense, scoring once in the fourth and again in the seventh. King slammed a long solo home run, her first of the season, in the fourth inning, and Woodruff drove in Hinshaw with a two-out single in the seventh. Woodruff had two hits in the contest.

Lady Bucks split doubleheader, head to Mississippi for Rush Invitational

Feb. 20, 2018

The Motlow Lady Bucks enjoyed their biggest offensive output of the young season when they beat the Martin Methodist College JV 14-2 in the second game of a doubleheader Monday afternoon in Pulaski. The Red Hawks won the opening game 1-0, scoring the lone run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Motlow (2-4, 0-0) will now embark on the season's longest road trip, heading to Meridian, Miss. this weekend to take part in the Rush Invitational Tournament. The Lady Bucks will play two games Friday and three Saturday, facing Northwest Florida State, Wallace State-Hanceville, Wallace State-Dothan, Spoon River, and East Mississippi respectively.

Following that trip, Motlow will open Tennessee Community College Athletic Association play when they travel to Chattanooga State for a four-game series March 2 & 3. Game times are 3 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday central time.

Kendall Durard was outstanding for the Lady Bucks in the circle in the opener Monday afternoon, allowing only two hits and three walks with seven strikeouts. However, MMC hurler Sydney Watson was equally impressive, allowing just three hits.

Neither team got a runner to third base until the bottom of the seventh inning, when the home team pieced together a leadoff double, a steal of third, and a sacrifice fly to get the win. Kylie Thackerson, Samantha King and Miranda Cooksey each had hits for the Lady Bucks.

Game two was a complete reversal. Motlow scored five runs in the first inning, one in the second, and six more in third. The Lady Bucks added a pair of runs in the fifth, as did the Red Hawks, and the game ended on the 10-run rule after five innings.

Six players had two hits each for Motlow; Ariel McAtee, Madison Hopkins, Breanna Owens, Durard, Ciera Dobbins and Caroline Sarris. Haley Hinshaw drove in three runs, while Dobbins, Chelbie Gannon and Ace Hanson each had two RBI.

Owens (1-0) got the win, pitching the first two innings and allowing two hits with two strikeouts. Samantha King pitched the next two innings and gave up just one hit, followed by Sarah Wilson who tossed the final inning and allowed four hits and the two runs.

Jennifer Corbitt currently leads the Lady Bucks with 10 or more at bats in hitting with a .545 batting average. McAtee leads in hits with seven, and Hinshaw is setting the pace in run production with nine runs batted in. The Lady Bucks have stolen 10 bases this season, with McAtee leading the way with four.

Caroline Sarris
Freshman Caroline Sarris had two hits and drove in a run during the Lady Bucks doubleheader Monday at Martin Methodist College JV in Pulaski. The Lady Bucks won the second game 14-2 after the home team took the opener 1-0. Motlow will travel to Meridian, Miss., this weekend to participate in the Rush Invitational Tournament.

Lady Bucks win softball season opener with dramatic seventh inning comeback

Feb. 14, 2018

Freshman Haley Hinshaw drove in classmate Ace Hanson with a two-out line drive to center field to cap a five-run seventh inning and give the Motlow Lady Bucks an 8-7 win over Northeast Mississippi in the softball season opener Thursday afternoon in Booneville, Miss.

The Lady Bucks (1-3, 0-0) dropped the second game of the doubleheader 7-4. Motlow resumed action on Tuesday, traveling to Decatur, Ala., where they fell short in a pair of games to Calhoun 3-0, 5-4. Next is a trip to Pulaski on Monday for a doubleheader against the Martin Methodist College JV, with the first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.

Heading into the seventh inning in game one in Booneville, the Lady Bucks trailed 7-3. With one out, Jennifer Corbitt started the rally with a double. Kylie Thackerson singled, with Corbitt advancing to third. On the first pitch to Madison Hopkins, Corbitt stole home and Thackerson stole second. Hopkins drew a walk and Thackerson advanced to third on a wild pitch.

Ariel McAtee then ran for Hopkins. With two outs McAtee stole second and Thackerson scored on a passed ball, closing the gap to 7-5. Madison Woodruff drew a walk before Breanna Owens singled to left, driving in McAtee and advancing Woodruff to second. Hanson then entered to run for Owens and advanced to second when Miranda Cooksey singled, scoring Woodruff on the throw. Hinshaw then delivered her game winner, with Hanson scoring on the throw from center field.

Corbitt got the win in the circle, pitching the final 1.2 innings with four strikeouts and only one hit allowed. Samantha King was the starter for Motlow, pitching four innings and allowing three runs. Sarah Wilson pitch the middle 1.1 innings and allowed four runs, although only one was earned.

Owens went 2-4 and drove in a run, while Cooksey was 2-3 and Hinshaw had a pair of runs batted in. Corbitt was 2-3 with two doubles, and the Lady Bucks stole six bases.

Game two saw Motlow get on the board with two runs in the second, but Northeast tied it with two of their own in the bottom of the inning, then scored four more in the third. The Lady Bucks fought back with two runs in the sixth, but a second comeback was not in store.

Corbitt (1-1) took the loss, allowing six runs with two strikeouts in her two innings of work. Owens pitched well over the final four innings, scattering five hits and allowing only one run with three strikeouts. McAtee went 3-4 and Hinshaw slammed a home run, while both Hinshaw and Chelbie Gannon drove in a pair of runs.

Game one against Calhoun featured a fine pitching performance by Calhoun's Sydnee Uhlman, who shut the Lady Bucks out, allowing six hits and striking out four. King (0-1) took the loss for Motlow, pitching 4.1 innings and allowing all three runs on eight hits with two strikeouts. Corbitt pitched the final 1.2 innings and allowed just one hit with one strikeout. Owens had a double, the only extra-base hit for Motlow.

The Lady Bucks led game two 4-1 after three and a half innings before the home team scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth and two more in the sixth to steal the win. The game was called after six innings due to darkness.

Kendall Durard (0-1) started in the circle, pitching into the sixth inning and allowing five hits with five strikeouts. Owens took over with one out and hit one batter, then walked in two batters, including the winning run. Hinshaw and Corbitt each had two hits, with Hinshaw slamming two doubles and driving in a pair of runs.

Haley Hinshaw
Motlow State freshman Haley Hinshaw makes a play in the field during the Lady Bucks' 8-7 win over Northeast Mississippi last week in Booneville. Hinshaw drove in the winning run with a single in the seventh inning, and is off to a hot start at the plate for the Lady Bucks, driving in six runs with a pair of doubles and a home run in the first week of the season.

Freshmen will be counted on early when Lady Bucks open softball season Feb. 6

Feb. 1, 2018

Head Coach Janice Morey enters her third season at the helm of the Motlow Lady Bucks with five returning sophomores, one transfer sophomore, and 12 freshmen on her 2018 softball roster.

The Lady Bucks will open the season Tuesday, Feb. 6, with a 1 p.m. doubleheader against Northeast Mississippi in Booneville, Miss. Following a trip to Meridian, Miss., and a conference-opening road trip to defending champion Chattanooga State, Motlow will play its first home game on Tuesday, Mar. 6, against visiting non-conference opponent Calhoun from Decatur, Ala.

Morey will lean on her returning sophomores heavily to provide leadership and production, especially in the early going as the freshmen get accustomed to the college game.

"Breanna Owens, Sarah Wilson and Ciera Dobbins return to the infield, while Chelbie Gannon and Miranda Cooksey return in the outfield," said Morey. "The addition of a local familiar face to the sophomore list, Mattie Woodruff, is expected to contribute to our team in big ways both offensively and defensively."

The Lady Bucks' leading returning hitter is Fayetteville's Owens, who garnered 141 at bats last season and hit .298 with 11 doubles, 16 runs batted in and six stolen bases. Owens also went 6-16 in the circle in 2017 with a 5.51 earned run average and 57 strikeouts in 128 innings pitched.

Lewisburg native Cooksey returns after getting 107 plate appearances and hitting .252 with nine doubles, two home runs and 15 RBI. Shelbyville's Gannon hit .240 with seven doubles and 14 RBI, and LaVergne's Dobbins hit .220 in 132 at-bats with five doubles and nine RBI. Sparta's Wilson returns in the circle, where she went 5-16 with a 6.23 earned run average in 139 innings.

Rutherford County native Woodruff has joined the Lady Bucks as a sophomore after a stellar prep career at Riverdale High School, where she was named Region 7-AAA Most Valuable Player following her senior season.

There remains a lot of playing time available and a significant amount of expectation on the incoming freshmen. Coach Morey is excited to add to her pitching staff and to add more speed to this year's squad.

"A pair of freshman pitchers, Samantha King and Kendall Durard, should definitely contribute to the existing pitching staff in a positive way for us," added Morey. "Having speed on the bases will be new for us as Kylie Thackerson, Ariel McAtee and Ace Hanson all bring that element to our team."

Madison Hopkins is from Lewisburg and played at Cornersville, Haley Hinshaw was a member of the standout program at Coffee County, and McAtee played at Stewarts Creek High School in Smyrna.

Thackerson was a standout at Scottsboro High School just across the state line, Jennifer Corbitt comes west after playing at Bradley Central, and Morey picked up a pair of players from Hendersonville in Hanson and Annsley Kalamon.

Caroline Sarris came the farthest to wear the green gold after attending Kell High School in Acworth, Ga. Morey continues to sign some of the area's best players, including Durard from Shelbyville and Emily Parks, who played her prep ball at Moore County.

Perhaps the most heralded freshman is standout pitcher King, who played at Forrest High School in Chapel Hill. She pitched the Lady Rockets to the Class A state championship game and was named all-state after her senior season.

The Lady Bucks were barraged with injuries and attrition in 2017 and finished the season with a 13-35 record and an early exit from the TCCAA tournament. In Morey's first season, her Lady Bucks sported a 28-24 mark and played into the third round of the conference tournament. This year's TCCAA tournament will be held at Chattanooga State beginning May 6.

2018 Softball Team
Members of the 2018 Motlow Lady Bucks softball team, front row from left: Ace Hanson, Nikita McCreary, Kendall Durard, Sarah Wilson and Breanna Owens. Second row from left: Ariel McAtee, Kylie Thackerson, Miranda Cooksey, Caroline Sarris, Madison Hopkins and Madison Woodruff. Back row from left: Emily Parks, Haley Hinshaw, Chelbie Gannon, Samantha King, Ciera Dobbins, Annsley Kalamon and Jennifer Corbitt. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.

Lady Bucks softball schedule features first month on the road

Jan. 5, 2018

If you want to see the Motlow Lady Bucks play softball early this season you are going to have to travel, as the Lady Bucks will spend the first month of the 2018 campaign on the road.

Practice officially begins Jan. 10 for the Lady Bucks under third-year Head Coach Janice Morey. The season opens Tuesday, Feb. 6, with a 1 p.m. doubleheader at Northeast Mississippi in Booneville. Motlow's first 18 games will be played on the road, including trips to Decatur, Ala., and Meridian, Miss. The Lady Bucks will open conference play on the road at defending TCCAA champion Chattanooga State March 2.

The Lady Bucks will finally play in front of their home crowd on Tuesday, March 6, when Calhoun visits for a 1 p.m. doubleheader. Including the Calhoun date, 24 of Motlow's final 36 games are scheduled to be played at Lady Bucks Field on the Moore County campus.

Motlow will play nine TCCAA conference series, with five at home and four on the road. Each conference series consists of a doubleheader on both Friday and Saturday. The first home conference series is March 9-10, with Cleveland State visiting.

The Lady Bucks have 10 consecutive games scheduled at home from March 20-31. The following two weekends they are on the road before finishing the regular season with back-to-back home series against Walters State and Southwest Tennessee, with the final play date scheduled for April 28. This year’s conference tournament will begin May 6 at Chattanooga State.

Janice Morey
Motlow State softball Head Coach Janice Morey will take her third Motlow team on the practice field Jan. 10 as they begin preparation for the 2018 season, which opens Feb. 6 with a doubleheader at Northeast Mississippi in Booneville. Morey's team will play its first 18 games on the road, then play 24 of its final 36 at home. The first home game is March 6, when Calhoun visits for a 1 p.m. doubleheader. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.

Lady Bucks stretch recruiting focus to rebuild Motlow State softball roster

June 20, 2017

The Motlow State Community College softball program is stretching its recruiting focus and adding some of the immediate area's top talent in hopes of repositioning itself back into championship contention, according to Head Coach Janice Morey.

Breanna Owens
Motlow State rising sophomore Breanna Owens is one of five returning players who will be counted on to lead the Lady Bucks during the 2018 season. Owens, from Fayetteville, batted .298 last year with 11 doubles and 16 runs batted in. She also had six stolen bases and struck out only eight times in 141 plate appearances. Photo by Jeff Reed Photography.
Motlow has signed 14 incoming freshmen to National Letters of Intent, including 12 from Tennessee, one from Alabama and one from Georgia. The Lady Bucks will return five from the 2017 squad, with all five being from Motlow's service area.

Although the majority of student-athletes on the roster will be from Tennessee, Morey and her staff have worked hard at identifying talent from outside Motlow's service area, which stretches from Rutherford County to White County to Huntsville, Alabama.

"Softball is a very strong sport on the high school level in the state of Tennessee," said Morey. "We feel confident we can build a program that consistently contends for conference championships with student-athletes from our state. At the same time, we aren’t bound by state lines and we always want to be open to expanding our recruiting focus."

Incoming freshmen who will be counted on to contribute to the 2018 edition of the Lady Bucks, and their hometown and high school, includes:

Jennifer Corbitt, McDonald, Bradley Central; Kendall Durard, Shelbyville, Shelbyville Central; Katelyn Elliott, McEwen; Alessandria Hanson, Hendersonville; Haley Hinshaw, Hillsboro, Coffee County Central; Madison Hopkins, Lewisburg, Cornersville; Annsley Kalamon, Hendersonville; Samantha King, Columbia, Forrest; Ariel McAtee, Smyrna, Stewarts Creek; Emily Parks, Tullahoma, Moore County; Geneva Tackett, McMinnville, Warren County; and Skyler Youngblood, McMinnville, Warren County.

Freshmen from outside Tennessee are Caroline Sarris from Kell High School in Acworth, Georgia, and Kylie Thackerson from Scottsboro High School in Scottsboro, Alabama.

The 14 freshmen will join five returning sophomores for the Lady Bucks: Miranda Cooksey, Ciera Dobbins, Chelbie Gannon, Breanna Owens and Sarah Beth Wilson.

The Lady Bucks can carry up to 20 players on the roster, which leaves Coach Morey with the availability to sign another student-athlete prior to the upcoming season. Motlow softball will play an exhibition schedule in the fall and open the 2018 season in early February.

Motlow Lady Bucks Softball Camp begins June 13

May 10, 2017

The Motlow State Lady Bucks will hold their annual softball camp June 13-15 on Motlow's Moore County campus, according to Janice Morey, head coach of the Lady Bucks. Participants who register for the camp by June 6 will receive a free camp T-shirt.

2017 Softball Camp Registration Form

The camp will be split into two divisions - beginner and advanced. The beginner camp will be all three days from 9-11:30 a.m. The advanced camp will be all three days from 1-4 p.m. The camp fee is $75, but discounts are available for multiple siblings and for Motlow State employee children.

Campers will be taught fundamental skills in defense, hitting, bunting and base running. Registration forms can be found on the Motlow State athletics website at MotlowSports.com/Softball. For more information, or to register for camp, contact Coach Morey at 931-393-1617 or jmorey@mscc.edu.

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