Lutheran South Pioneers 2016 Softball Preview
The Lutheran South softball team comes into 2016 the early favorite to repeat as state champion. The Pioneers were 27-7 a year ago (11-1 district) and gave up just one run in the playoffs on their way to the state title. After beating Victoria St. Joseph 5-1, the Lady Pioneers shutout Corpus Christi John Paul II, Incarnate Word, and Reicher to claim state supremacy.
The Pioneers return 8 starters in 2016. The only loss to graduation was valedictorian and all-state award winner Tara Everett (University of Texas). Leading the way for South will be pitcher Shelby Achille who finished 23-4 in 2015. Achille received all-district and all-state honors a year ago and was named the district player of the year. Achille also leads the Pioneers on offense. Coming off a season that saw the senior hit .549 with 6 home runs, 56 RBI, and 49 runs, Achille is our preseason favorite to earn another player of the year award.
When Achille is not on the mound, expect to see freshman Shelby Smith in the circle. Manager Katy Cave expects Smith to be a contributor at pitcher and at first base.
Haley Lee, the battery mate of Achille, returns after hitting .516 with 47 RBI a year ago. Lee also earned all-district and all-state honors a year ago and we expect more of the same in 2016. Lee is just a sophomore and is attracting interest from Division 1 schools.
Manager Katy Cave returns for her third season at Lutheran South and the Pioneers open the 2016 season at Clear Falls on February 2nd.