Southwest Softball Team Opens Season at Carl Albert Festival

The Southwest softball team will open the 2014 season this weekend at the Carl Albert Festival in Poteau, Oklahoma, with five games in two days. On February 14, Southwest will play its season opener against Western Oklahoma State, the NJCAA's 11th-ranked team a year ago, then will take on the host team Carl Albert in a doubleheader. On February 15, the Lady Saluqis will play Connors State and Coffeyville in single games.

Four players return from last season for Southwest – infielder/outfielder Sami Jo Kelly, shortstop Kelsey Knight, and pitchers Taylor Thomas and Kayla Wright. Kelly, the team's top returning hitter, batted .304 as a freshman with eight doubles, five home runs and 32 runs batted in. Knight batted .288 last season with six doubles, one home run and 15 runs batted in. Wright won six games in 2013 (including a complete game victory over defending national champion Chattanooga State) and was second on the pitching staff with 22 appearances and 92-1/3 innings pitched. Thomas won five games as a freshman, led the staff with three shutouts, and ranked second on the staff with 17 games started and 61 strikeouts.

Joining these four returnees are nine freshmen – third baseman Kenzie Ashford (Germantown), first baseman Dallas Chipman (Bartlett), pitcher/outfielder Tara Comer (Munford), outfielder Marissa Davis (Cherokee, AL), pitcher/outfielder Lauren Ray (Bolton), catcher/utility player Alissa Rice (DeSoto Central), pitcher Alex Stanford (Munford), catcher/infielder Casey Tarwater (Millington), and centerfielder Alex Turner (Munford).

Carl Albert Festival Schedule
Date Time Opponent
February 14 Noon Western Oklahoma State
February 14 2 p.m. Carl Albert (doubleheader)
February 15 Noon Connors State
February 15 2 p.m. Coffeyville


Photo caption: Southwest Softball Team