Gentry softball begins

By PAUL PUTNAM SPORTS WRITER,

A new head coach and six returning starters will grace the field today when the Gentry High Lady Rams open their 2020 fastpitch softball season.

With first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m. at O’Bannon High School in Greenville, the Lady Rams are hoping a victory over the GreenWave will make the coaching debut of Rashica Armstrong memorable.

Those six starters will be counted on heavily to lead the Lady Rams this spring as this year’s squad works to build on the 12-5 record earned last season.

That strong campaign ended in the first round of the State 4A playoffs with a loss to Senatobia High School.

Last season the Lady Rams earned a 6-2 regional record with both losses coming at the hands of Yazoo City High School, a team which Coach Armstrong expects to be strong again this spring.

Entering her first-ever year as a softball coach, Armstrong noted, “I feel this year’s team will hit the ball really well. We have a great group of veteran players that have worked hard over the summer and prepared themselves for the season. We will be led by a very experienced group of seniors that are poised and ready for action.”

A 2004 graduate of Gentry High where she played soft pitch softball, Coach Armstrong is a Mississippi Valley State University product where she earned a master’s degree in Social Work.

As for additional upcoming action, next Monday will take the Gentry High squad to Leland High School for a 4:30 p.m. non-regional clash.

That contest will be the final tune-up prior to entering Region 3-4A competition as next Tuesday brings Clarksdale High School to the Gentry High field. First pitch of this game is set to be thrown at 4:30 p.m.

As for making success happen on the playing field this spring, the group of six returning starters is comprised of five seniors and a junior.

Seniors will dominate the infield and it begins behind the plate where Zakaria Ross returns as the final line of defense.

Meanwhile, other positions on the infield will be filled with experience by Jaidra Green, MaKyla Henderson, DeAsia Thornton, and Makayla Thornton.

One senior returning starter, Kierstin Jennings, is also expected to hold down a spot in the outfield.

The inside of pitcher’s circle is expected to be led by Henderson and junior Jaliah Carter.

New potential starters expected to make an impact on the field this spring include junior outfielder Denise Ginn.

However, there is some youthful talent approaching as well. Eighth graders Breniyah Myrick and Kyiana Norman are joining Zakensly Yarbor in seeking playing time on the infield or outfield this season.

Helping Coach Armstrong guide her squad through this spring’s 15 game schedule is Brian Hargrove.

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