• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports Editor

Lady Jackets’ softball team eyes state tournament birth


Woodford County High School begins its softball season next week, and the Lady Jackets looked primed for a run at the state tournament this year. WCHS Coach Les Anderson has a lineup built with speed and power that will strike fear in opposing pitchers. The Lady Jackets will take a couple of big road trips this season. In late March, Woodford will travel to Myrtle Beach to compete in the Cal Ripken Experience tournament over spring break. In Mid-April, the Lady Jackets will compete at East Carter in the Tri-State showcase against teams from Ohio and West Virginia. WCHS senior Leea Cole brings speed and experience to Woodford’s lineup. Cole can move around the diamond and play outfield and throw valuable innings in the circle. WCHS senior Emily Hestand’s power bat exploded for the Lady Jackets late in the season and continued into the postseason. Hestand has battled through knee injuries but figures to be a vital part of Woodford’s success this season. WCHS senior outfielder Lexi Braswell brings experience to Woodford’s young roster and is a baserunning threat with eight career stolen bases. WCHS junior Delaney Enlow burst onto the scene with a game-winning home run to defeat Scott County in 2017. The slugging first baseman then had a terrific season in 2018 hitting cleanup. WCHS junior Abby Moffett had a breakout season in 2018. Moffett clubbed 14 home runs with 53 RBI last year and had a .445 batting average. Moffett, underrated as a defender, did not commit an error last season. WCHS juniors Kayleigh Poe, Kasey Abel and sophomore Tatum Wimberly are speedsters that can change the game for the Lady Jackets. The trio play solid defense and will play key roles this season. WCHS junior Kelsey Coleman was terrific during the 2017 season with a .305 batting average, five home runs, and 24 RBI. She returns to Woodford’s lineup after a one-year absence. WCHS sophomore Claire Lehmkuhler batted .394 in her freshman season and added 18 wins with 175 strikeouts during her rookie campaign. Lehmkuhler is also a threat on the basepaths, stealing 21 bases last season. WCHS freshman Liz Edwards made a substantial contribution last season as an eighth-grader. Edwards tallied 59 strikeouts in the circle and had a 3.65 ERA in 13 appearances.

The Lady Jackets have a bench full of young talent, including a handful of middle schoolers that will play critical roles at the plate and in the field as the season unfolds this spring.

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