By Steve LeMaster
STEARNS – The McCreary Central Lady Raiders are set to open the 2018 high school softball season on the road at Bell County on Tuesday, March 20.
McCreary Central, under the guidance of head coach Dottie Cotton, finished runner-up to Southwestern in the 48th District in 2017. The Lady Raiders made and appearance in the 12th Region Softball Tournament and following an opening round loss to Rockcastle County exited the 2017 season with a 6-18 record.
McCreary Central is expected to show much improvement in the 2018 season. The Lady Raiders were 2-1 during a scrimmage at Sunbright (Tenn.) on Saturday. McCreary Central defeated both Sunbright and Wartburg during the preseason event held over the weekend.
Bell County, a longtime rival from the neighboring 13th Region, exited the 2017 season with a 3-16 record. The Lady Cats’ 2017 season ended with a loss to nemesis Harlan County in the opening round of the 52nd District Baseball Tournament in Middlesboro.
McCreary Central is due to host Bell County for a regular-season finale on May 18.
Much excitement surrounds the McCreary Central softball squad’s upcoming season. The Lady Raiders are slated to entertain Pineville for a home opener on March 27.
In addition to Bell County and Pineville, McCreary Central has games scheduled versus Casey County, Lincoln County, Clinton County, Whitley County, Danville, Burgin, Scott (Tenn.), Southwestern, Wayne County, Oneida, Burgin and Lynn Camp,
High school softball and baseball teams throughout the state are headed into season-openers. Weather permitting, many prep softball and baseball squads will see first pitches in their respective seasons next week.
McCreary Central, which took the field for preseason practice for the first time in 2018 during the month of February, competes with Southwestern and Wayne County in the 48th District.