SOFTBALL PREVIEW: Holcomb looks to make noise with returning talent

Monday, March 11, 2019
Photo by Dustin Ward, staff
Pictured is the Holcomb Hornets high school softball program.

The Holcomb Hornets high school softball program enters the 2019 season with a slew of returning all-conference players off of last season’s squad that finished 13-3 and won the Tri-County Conference Tournament.

Holcomb’s Hannah Burk, Bailey Cupples, Kelsi Tucker, Jayden Kendrick, Carli Morgan, and Macy Houart were all selected all-conference last season.

“We’ve got a good, young group,” Holcomb coach Matt Casper said. “I’m really excited about them and hope to give them the consistency they deserve for years to come as they progress. I know there are high expectations, and for good reason, because they are a talented and smart group of girls. I look for good things to happen for them.”

Holcomb’s roster is composed of two seniors, two juniors, and 13 underclassmen.

“We’ve got a pretty good mixture,” Casper said.

Casper said he plans on letting four girls see time in the circle in the 2019 season.

“Right now we’ve got four girls we are looking at,” Casper said. “Our senior - Carli Morgan - will probably get the ball at the start of the season. She’s looking good so far. We’ve also got a couple of sophomores - Bailey Cupples and Macy Houart - along with a freshman - Alyssa Brown - that will probably see time at some point this season. I don’t like putting all my eggs in one basket so I want to see what they are all made of at some point during the season and see where we are at after that.”

Holcomb hopes to repeat as champs of the Tri-County Conference Tournament. Holcomb beat Southland 17-2 in the championship of the Tri-County Conference Tournament last season.

“I know Southland has a really good pitcher and they faced Southland in the championship last season,” Casper said. “Other than that I didn’t get to see a whole lot of their conference games. I know we hit the ball well in conference games last year. Hopefully, we continue to do that and our defense comes around to be pretty solid. I think we have a good chance at a conference title again and look forward to the competition in the Tri-County.”

The Hornets open its season with three home conference games. Holcomb hosts Risco Mar. 15, Cooter Mar. 18, and Delta C-7 Mar. 19.

“We dive into conference play at the start of the season,” Casper said.

Holcomb will compete in Class 1, District 2 with Campbell, New Madrid County Central, Gideon, Malden, North Pemiscot, Portageville, and Risco at the end of the season.

Casper, who coached the baseball program for the last eight seasons, hopes to bring a long string of success to the softball program in the coming decade.

“It was a tough decision to switch to softball,” Casper said. “I loved every minute of coaching baseball for my alma mater. Making a run to state in 2013 was a highlight along with making it to multiple district championship games. But I knew we had a good, young group on the horizon in softball and it was kind of time for me to do something to rejuvenate myself. But more importantly, I felt like I owed it to these girls to give them a consistent coach for, hopefully, the next eight to 10 years, and hopefully, I will do a good job.”

Holcomb Hornets Softball Schedule

3/15RiscoHome3 p.m.
3/18CooterHome4:30 p.m.
3/19Delta C-7Home4:30 p.m.
3/21NeelyvilleHome4:30 p.m.
3/22North Pem.Home4:30 p.m.
4/1SouthlandAway4:30 p.m.
4/4South Pem.Away4:30 p.m.
4/6Dexter TournamentDexterTBA
4/8SenathAway4:30 p.m.
4/9BernieAway4:30 p.m.
4/11CaruthersvilleAway4:30 p.m.
4/16GideonAway4:30 p.m.
4/18CampbellHome4:30 p.m.
4/22-24Tri-County Tourn.TBATBA
4/26PortagevilleHome4:30 p.m.
4/29-5/1District Tourn.TBATBA
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