By C. Scott Shasteen
Motlow College Athletics
The Motlow Lady Bucks softball team will open its second season under head coach Tori Raby-Gentry on Friday, Feb. 22 when they travel to Boaz, Ala., to play a doubleheader against Snead State. The first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Motlow will open its home season hosting Jackson Community College from Michigan on Sunday, Feb. 24, with the first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. Conference play opens Friday, March 1, at home against Volunteer State, and the regular season ends April 27 at home against Roane State.
As Raby-Gentry prepares for her second season leading the Motlow program she expects significant improvement over last year’s 20-28 record. Despite only three returning sophomores on the roster, she feels the 2013 Lady Bucks will be better.
Returning sophomores include Veronica Blackburn-Jones from Manchester. New additions to the roster for this season include Tori Taylor from Manchester, Gabi Keith from McMinnville, Lauren Warren from Shelbyville, Morgan Frye from McMinnville, Chelsea Howell from Manchester and Taylor Grissom from Morrison.
Motlow’s schedule is noticeably different than in years past. The Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) has changed its conference scheduling format. Instead of facing each conference team for only one doubleheader during the regular season, teams will play doubleheaders against each other on back-to-back days.
The Lady Bucks’ schedule is somewhat favorable in that both Chattanooga State and Volunteer State will come to Moore County for their four-game series against Motlow. Those two teams are consistently among the league’s best. Chattanooga State is the defending National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) tournament champion.