PREVIEW: Traditional softball talent Kennett eyes seventh straight district title

Photo by Dustin Ward, staff
Pictured is the 2020 Kennett High School softball team.

The pieces appear to be in place for another big year for the Kennett Indians softball program in 2020.

Kennett graduated only two starters off of last season’s squad that won its sixth straight district title and placed second at the spring state tournament

“We’ve got a very experienced team,” Kennett first-year coach Logan Dollins said. “We only graduated a couple off last season’s squad so we’ve got a good core coming back. They had a great season last year, so hopefully, we can put it together and make another run.”

Members of the Kennett softball team are senior Emillie Johnson; juniors Caroline Byers, Hannah Davis, Kayton Hurst, Adelynn Nelson, and Jaden Yates; sophomores Anelle Harris, Kyra Jaco, Olivia Orf, Audrey Phillips, and Jetta Tillmon; and freshmen Sophie Boone, Maize Coffer, and Lilli Jones.

Kennett, which went 16-9 last season, averaged 8.2 runs per game and allowed 4.6 runs per game.

“Everybody can hit in this lineup,” Kennett cleanup hitter Byers said.

Jaco and Harris were selected all-state their freshman season. Jaco hit .453 with 13 RBIs and 29 stolen bases. Harris hit .443 with 29 RBIs and three home runs last season.

“We should have a little bit of pop in the lineup,” Dollins said. “We’ve also got some girls that can run. We’ve also got girls that have played in big games throughout the lineup.”

Harris and Johnson are the leading candidates to see time in the circle.

“Both of our pitchers got a lot of time last year,” Dollins said. “They are back and healthy so our pitching should be a foundation for our team.”

Kennett is looking to re-establish itself as the front-runner in the Bootheel Conference after falling to Malden in the title game of its conference tournament last season.

“You have to come out and play every single day,” Dollins said of the Bootheel Conference. “Hopefully we can fine-tune some little things we are working on right now. But I like our chances against anyone in the conference to be quite honest. We will have a target on our back after finishing second in the state. There are some teams that really want to beat us so we better come out every single day and play.”

Kennett opens its season Mar. 20 at the two-day Bearcat Blast in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

“It’s always challenging when we go down there because Arkansas teams have been playing for a few weeks,” Johnson said. “But we are ready for the competition.”

District assignments have yet to be released for spring softball. Kennet is attempting to win its seventh straight district title and advance to the state tournament for the fourth time in the last seven seasons.

“Our goal is to get back to state,” Johnson said. “We’ve been working hard as a team to get ready for the playoffs.”

Kennett Softball Schedule

3/20–21Bearcat Blast Tourn.Jonesboro/TBA
3/24NMCCHome/4:30 p.m.
3/26Scott CityHome/4:30 p.m.
3/30HolcombHome/4:30 p.m.
3/31MaldenAway/3:30 p.m.
3/31PortagevilleMalden/5 p.m.
4/2CampbellAway/4:30 p.m.
4/3CaruthersvilleHome/4:30 p.m.
4/6DyersburgAway/5:30 p.m.
4/7South PemiscotSenath/5 p.m.
4/7Senath-HornersvilleAway/6:30 p.m.
4/14Dyer CountyAway/5 p.m.
4/16RiscoHome/4:30 p.m.
4/20Greene County TechHome/4:30 p.m.
4/23OranAway/4:30 p.m.
4/24Park Hills CentralAway/3 p.m.
4/24PotosiPark Hills/4:30 p.m.
4/25Swing Pink Tourn.Dexter/TBA
4/27-29BHC TournamentCampbell/TBA
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