June 4, 2023

The Lady Cougars took all the energy and momentum they could muster and defeated Henry County in the district tournament championship.

Unfortunately, it was all they had left it seems.

A 6-1 loss to Clarkesville saw their season come to an end Monday.

Dickson County came up with an early run, took the early lead, but could not sustain it.

A heartbreaking way to see a season come to an end.

The Lady Cougars had really come on strong late in the year with big wins over Creek Wood, Northwest, and Henry County of course.

They just ran out of gas.

Much like their counterparts over on the baseball field, they have most starters returning.

They lose just three seniors.

Problem is, theirs are much more vital.

All three starters, Bella Blackwell, Alexia Hoskins, and Lillie Proctor had big seasons.

Two of them have viable replacements.

Proctor was a stellar outfielder, but the Lady Cougars have a stable of those.

Sadie Green, Lolo Shelton, and Autumn Spivey project to be your starting outfield next year.

All three have viable varsity experience, two of them will be only sophomores next year.

Blackwell was the starter behind the plate this year and was a brick wall.

However, Annabelle Ellis can and I am sure will take over without missing a beat.

That does create an issue at third base, but you can shift infielders around, or find a capable young player and teach them the position.

What you can’t do, is just replace a star pitcher.

We saw what a struggle Head Coach Bert Newberry had this year trying to not only replace Ashlan Sensing, but also Kate Peters.

Peters of course was a surprise in late December and early January. Given the chance to go play college ball early, she took it.

That left coach Newberry in a bind, with less time than normal to prepare.

Hoskins is a strong and capable presence in the circle.

She is not a one-woman army though.

Not like Sensing, or others Dickson County has had.

Despite getting better throughout the year, she ultimately just could not carry her team.

Now, while coach Newberry will have a full offseason to figure it out, he has to develop an ace.

Green and Shelton can pitch, as can a few other players.

None of them though are a certified, all-season, two hundred-plus inning arm.

At least, not yet.

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