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Red Bay balances experience with youth

The Red Bay Tigers boast a core group of players with a lot of varsity experience, but they also have a young group of girls trying to find their role on the team.

The Tigers are coming off a 21-16 season this past year, and they lost solid pitcher/middle infielder Lila Blackburn to graduation. Red Bay has five players with significant varsity experience: pitcher/centerfielder Chloe Knoblock, third baseman Annaliese Rogers, shortstop Emma McCollister, catcher Sarah Eaton and first baseman Audrey Ehler.

“Chloe has pitched a lot of innings for us, and we are going to rely on her this year,” said Red Bay coach Shane Nichols. “Annaliese has played a lot since the seventh grade and is a quiet leader. Emma is an impact player who can change a game any time she wants. Sarah has been a staple behind the plate and in the middle of the lineup. Audrey has improved a lot as our first baseman.”

While Nichols sees his team’s experience as a strength, he said the team’s mentality is the core strength.

“We have a lot of experience,” said Nichols. “We are scrappy, and we find a way to be in every game. We have got to learn to play with more confidence and be more aggressive, however.”

Nichols attributes some of that to the youth on the team.

“We have some young girls who are having to move around and play out of positions sometimes,” he said, “but they have stepped up and filled some holes, and we are making it work.”

“This team knows how to get the job done,” Nichols added. “When we are down, we chip away and chip away, and we give ourselves a chance to win.”

Red Bay is in Class 2A, Area 14, with Tharptown and Colbert County.

RED BAY VARSITY SOFTBALL ROSTER

No.

Name

Grade

2

Audrey Ehler

Senior

4

Sarah Eaton

Senior

9

Annaliese Rogers

Senior

11

Chloe Knoblock

Senior

20

Emma McCollister

Senior

22

Gretchen Davis

Junior

5

Kayliegh Milam

Sophomore

12

Lexi Howard

Sophomore

15

Hannah Butler

Sophomore

27

Violet Lancaster

Sophomore

28

McKayla Young

Sophomore

7

Jazmyn Pearson

Freshman

10

Britley Hardin

Freshman

40

Sophia Strickland

Freshman

1

Kyla Blackburn

Eighth grade

6

Julianna Eaton

Eighth grade

13

Ava Oswalt

Eighth grade

16

McKenna Young

Eighth grade

26

Gracie Edgmon

Eighth grade

3

Lana Bell

Seventh grade

25

Bella Trassare

Seventh grade

29

Emma Blackburn

Seventh grade

x