Season outlook: Boyle has the nucleus of its team back, including seven or eight girls who started at some point last season All-Area performers Woolum and Hellyer lead the young Rebels, who have just two seniors and 11 sophomores. Ross is another solid returner. Freshman Cheyenne Brumbaugh and eighth-grader Lindsey Edwards will handle the pitching duties. But even an improved Boyle has a tough road to hold, as LeMonds think the Rebels are in the toughest district in the 12th Region.
24 - PULASKI COUNTY, 5; 25 - at Washington County, 5:30; 27 - SOMERSET, 5:30; 29 - at Lincoln County, 1.
7 - BURGIN, 5:30; 10 - BRYAN STATION, 5:30; 11 - at Bell County, 7:30; 12 - at Middlesboro, 10 a.m.; 14 - SOMERSET, 5:30; 15 - DANVILLE, 5; 17 - MADISON SOUTHERN, 5:30; 18-19 - at Lake Cumberland Fast Pitch Classic; 21 - LINCOLN COUNTY, 5:30; 22 - NELSON COUNTY, 5:30; 24 - at Danville, 5; 25 - at Pulaski County, 5:30; 28 - BEREA, 6; 29 - at Taylor County, 6.
1 - at Mercer County; 5 - MARION COUNTY, 5:30; 6 - at Frankfort, 5:30; 8 - GARRARD COUNTY, 5:30; 9-10 - Boyle County Invitational; 13 - MERCER COUNTY, 6; 15 - at Bryan Station, 5:30 p.m.
Head coach: Matt GrimesLast season: 9-12
Top returnees: Nikki Bugg, Sr., P; Tiffany Shewmaker, Sr., 1B; Paisley Carey, So., Utility.
Key statistics: Shewmaker led the team in hitting last season with a .339 average and drove in a team-high 10 runs. She also had a home run and three triples. Burgin has lost its top three catchers and has just 16 girls on its roster. The Bulldogs have averaged 94 wins over the previous five seasons. Burgin started the season 8-5 before dropping seven of its final eight games.
Coach's comment: "We've improved the last seven years each year. The last three or four year we've been flirting with .500 seasons, so we're hoping to surpass the .500 mark. And this is the first year to participate in the All "A," so our goal is to advance to the (state) All "A." We also want to contend for the conference championship and advance to the regional tournament. I believe all four goals are attainable."
Season outlook: Burgin has one of the better pitchers in the area in Bugg, but the Bulldogs have just 16 girls on their roster. So young players are going to see a lot of action early, including middle schoolers. The most questionable position lies at catcher, where five-year starter Michelle Myers graduate. Backup Vaughn Smith had ACL surgery in November and the third string catcher moved. So Burgin has just one girl with experience behind the plate.
27- at Sayre, 6; 29 - All "A" Classic at Somerset, 1 p.m.
7 - at Boyle County, 5:30; 8 - BEREA, 6; 10 - at East Jessamine, 5:30; 15 - MERCER COUNTY, 5:30; 17 - WEST JESSAMINE, 5:30; 18 - MONTICELLO, 6; 19 - at Bethlehem (2); 21 - DANVILLE, 5; 24 - at Marion County, 6; 25 - Bluegrass Conference Tournament at Sayre, 6; 28 - PARIS, 6; 29 - WASHINGTON COUNTY, 6 p.m.
1 - BEREA, 6; 2 - at Monticello, 6; 5 - at Lincoln County, 5:30; 6 - BETHLEHEM, 5:30; 9 - MARION COUNTY, 6; 12 - GARRARD COUNTY, 5:30; 14 - SAYRE, 5:30; 17 - OWEN COUNTY, 11 a.m., WILLIAMSBURG 2:30 p.m.
Head coach: Kevin LongLast season: 12-19
Top returnees: Kayla Eads, Sr., P; Kayla McFarland, Jr., C; Lauren Hatter, Jr. IF.
Key statistics: Eads had 10 of Casey's 12 wins last season, and hit .305. McFarland led the team with 34 hits, a .420 batting average, and 26 stolen bases.
Coach's comments: "We're going to have to have some young players step up and play. Our pitching should be solid, but I'm kind of worried about how our defense will play right now. I think we have the opportunity to be pretty good, it just depends on the younger players who have not played much step up."
Outlook: Casey graduated its entire infield, so the Rebels will put a young team on the field. But the battery of Eads and McFarland is back, which should help a young team. Hatter is moving from the outfield to infield. However Long knows his team's chances rests on a group of players who did not see the field much a year ago.
24 - SOUTHWESTERN, 6; 25 - EAST JESSAMINE, 6; 27 - RUSSELL COUNTY, 5; 29 - at South Laurel Invitational, 9 a.m.