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Lady Trojans take aim at one more historic year

By By Jeff Byrd / staff writer
Aug. 15, 2002
Last year saw Northeast Lauderdale enjoy a softball season of historic proportions. The Lady Trojans won the South State 4A Championship for the first time and set a school record of 34 wins in a season.
About the only thing Northeast did not win was the State 4A Championship getting beat by long-time state softball power New Hope in the finals in Jackson.
Lady Trojan head coach Chris Harper says he feels he has the team to contend again for the 4A title. But he has been less than thrilled with the progress to date.
Northeast opened its season on Tuesday against four-time state champion and perennial county heavyweight West Lauderdale.
Northeast finished 34-6 last year. They lost just two starters off that team in outfielders Katie Bergin and April Harper.
The Lady Trojans welcome back the Meridian Star Player of the Year in shortstop Raleigh Odom.
Northeast also has back Lauren Webb at second base giving them a solid middle-infield. Also returning are Jana Olczak at third base, Jennifer Bristow at catcher, Amber Gray at first base and Blair Rawson on the mound.
The outfield is where the Lady Trojans will be different. Grace Ann Watkins, one of the team's top hitters last year, moves over to left-center field.
Capri Norris moves from left field to center field. The two other outfield spots will see platoons. Carol Hull and Jamie Gardner will share short field while Danielle McCoy and Shelly Odom will split right field.
One area Harper wants to see improvement in is the offense.
Northeast hosts Southeast Lauderdale Friday, before opening division play at home against Laurel on Tuesday.