Cane Bay High School’s softball team journeyed into uncharted waters this spring, setting a school record for victories.
The Lady Cobras finished 22-8 and captured a postseason district title before bowing out in the Lower State final four tournament with losses to South Florence and Ashley Ridge.
“We progressed throughout the season and became a better program,” first-year Cane Bay coach Kristen Hobbs said. “The girls worked hard to accomplish team and individual goals and did a great job laying down the foundation for future seasons.”
The season was the last for four seniors, including the top two hitters. Third baseman Mallena Wright, a North-South all-star and all-state selection, batted .465 with 20 extra-base hits, 35 RBIs and 32 stolen bases. Shortstop Smiley Kinloch, an all-state pick and region player of the year, hit .411 with team highs in home runs (7) and RBIs (36).
Inside the circle, Joey Lawhorn threw 141 innings with a 2.532 earned-run average.
Kaitlyn Jones was a backup outfielder.
“Although we are losing two of our well-rounded players and a good presence on the mound, we will be returning a bulk of our lineup,” Hobbs said. “We have four juniors this year who have hopefully seen what it takes to be a leader in our program and will exemplify that next season. We will also be returning some of our younger players who played a major role in our accomplishments this season. I am looking forward to the off season and seeing the work ethic and competition we will put in for next year.”
The top hitters returning will be 1B/P Jenna Krol, a seventh grader, and sophomore OF Ciera Fenton.
Krol batted .331 with 13 extra-base hits and 16 RBIs and hurled 44 innings with a 1.273 ERA. Fenton hit .341 with 12 RBIs.
More regular players back will be all-region junior C Hailey Howell (.261, 22 RBI), junior OF Chloe VanWagner (.263, 13 RBI) and junior 2B Catelynn Riley (.247, 12 RBI), sophomore RF Khia Wright, freshman DP Courtland Salter and sophomore DP Ashton Muschek.
The Cobras are in a tough region with Berkeley, Stratford, Goose Creek, Wando and James Island.
They finished second in the region standings behind Berkeley this season.