After winning the 3A state championship last year, Mansfield figured to be rebuilding this year. After all, more than half the starting lineup and the starting pitcher graduated. Plus head coach Michael Freeman moved into administration as principal at Hackett High School.
But the Tigers have reloaded for what appears to a run at another 3A-4 championship and in the state tournament.
Mansfield (10-0, 4-0) rallied for a 14-8 win against Paris last Tuesday to get back in action after spring break.
“Our hitting has been consistent up and down the lineup,” coach Jason Gill said. “The pitching has been pretty solid, too. Yesterday was the first time they have really been hit.”
Returnees Mallory Ward and Alli Cumbie have set the table at the top of the lineup and Erin Reano has provided the power. Reano hit a three-run home run in the first inning against Paris, her third of the year.
“They wouldn’t pitch to her after the first inning,” Gill said of Reano. “I guess no one is going to pitch to her.”
Freshman Kylie Ward and sophomore Sierra Grady have shared the pitching and have been solid, Gill said. Symber Weaver was 3-for-3 against Paris.
Mansfield also won the small schools division of the Clarksville Tournament this year. The Tigers were not in action at the River City Rumble at Van Buren last month because they had planned to go to the Rivercrest Tournament the weekend before spring break, which was snowed out.
“We were hoping to see some of those teams in the east part of the state that are pretty good,” Gill said.
Mansfield played Two Rivers last Friday and had a doubleheader at Atkins on Monday.