Lady Warhawks looking for consistency in ACCC

Published 2:24 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2006

By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
Last month the Jefferson Davis Community College Lady Warhawks softball team was just hoping to find a way to get to the finish line. Now they hope to have something accomplished when they get there.
JDCC will kick off the Alabama Community College Conference portion of its schedule today when it travels to Enterprise-Ozark.
The Lady Warhawks along with L.B. Wallace are already looking up in the league standings, as the division's other five members have started league play.
As usual, Wallace State-Dothan should be the team to beat. WSD is off and running this spring with a 19-2 record. In past years, winning the division title has usually been not much more than a formality for WSD. This spring might be different.
Last week Faulkner State and WSD split a doubleheader that currently leaves the teams even in the loss column in division play. WSD has played two more games so far and is 5-1 in division play and Faulkner State is 3-1. Faulkner State, which has played a league high 35 games so far, has matched WSD's 19 overall wins for tops in the division.
JDCC enters league play 8-15, but the Lady Warhawks have been a much more successful squad in the last month. JDCC started its season 2-8 and its season could have been over at that point when a pair of injuries reduced its roster to just eight players.
Since volleyball players Elizabeth Haddock, Ashley Willoughby and Kim Deese joined the roster and kept the season alive, JDCC's season has gone from a downhill spiral to at least up and down. The Lady Warhawks strung together four straight wins, then lost five straight when they shut out each game and have won their two most recent games.
A hand injury to freshman Amberly Whitworth has forced sophomore righthander Nikki Madden into a workhorse role on the mound. Madden has pitched 18 of JDCC's 22 games on the field. Although Madden's record is a modest 8-9, she has kept JDCC in most of its games with a 2.08 earned run average.
It will probably be how well JDCC's offense comes around that will tell how far the Lady Warhawks can go.
Sophomore first baseman Lakyn Newton is on target to win the team's triple crown for hitting, as she leads JDCC in batting average (.381), RBIs (16) and homeruns (two). The Lady Warhawks have just two other hitters above .300. Madden, who seldom hit for herself last season, has hit a surprising .361 mark so far and Katie Simmons is at .323.
Defense also figures to be the Lady Warhawks' other key area. JDCC has made 54 errors, almost 2.5 per game.

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