By Josh Mathews
With a familiar face back at the helm in Scott Driskill, Matoaca softball has some exciting youth led by one of the top pitchers in the area, junior Katie Higgins.
Higgins is the team’s leader and has pitched well in the circle to a 3.60 ERA. He’s consistent and at times, spectacular. She’s also been a force to deal with at the plate and is perhaps the team’s best all-around player.
“Katie is one of the most competitive players I’ve had,” Driskill said. “She knows and understands the game, but still has fun playing it.”
A pair of sophomores have anchored the middle of the Matoaca line-up in 2017. Sophomore Riley Hunt, the daughter of former head coach Greg Hunt as picked up where she left off as a freshman- no sophomore slump. Driskill said that one surprising player thus far has been another sophomore in Myla Lundie, who’s been ‘crushing the ball’ from the #4 spot in the line-up.
“Riley could be the best pure hitter I’ve had,” said Driskill. “Can hit the ball hard from foul line to foul line with power. She’s a very tough out.”
Yet another youth should have Warriors faithful excited in Mackensie Smith. While she’s a utility player now, roaming the outfield, infield and pitching, she’s a strong hitter with an outstanding arm that’s one to watch for Matoaca.
All things considered, Driskill had an honest assessment of his team, and he’s probably similar to other coaches at this time of year. He said the team has had problems with untimely errors and knocking in runs in scoring position. The Warriors are 3-4 as of press time with a 2-2 record in Conference 12.
“The mix of a few older players with many younger players will need to come together sooner or later,” said Driskill. “Hopefully sooner.”
With a young core, the Warriors could develop into a thorn in the side of competitors this season and for the coming years.