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A New Chapter Begins For Burgin Softball

The Harrodsburg Herald/Casey Roberts
The 2023 Burgin Lady Bulldogs softball team are ready to kick off a new season. Front row: Ashton Lester, Jemma Jenkins, Leah Jenkins, Aleeya White, Alli Crawley-Stewart. Back row: Haley Hurst, Kaydance Logue, Bristol Keith, Jocelyn Stanley, Gracie Settles, Kaleigh Couture. The coaches are Russell Jenkins and Mark Osbourne.

Casey Roberts
Herald Staff

The days get longer, the air gets warmer, and softball season begins. As nature starts to bloom again with vibrant colors and fragrant smells, it’s hard not to feel excited about what the new season will bring. As for the Burgin softball team  these sunny days are full of potential and promise

The Burgin Lady Bulldogs softball program looks for a fresh start under new head Coach Russell Jenkins. He takes over a squad that hopes to improve on last year’s 1-13 record. The roster includes three seniors, Jayma White, Gracie Settles, and Kaleigh Couture to go along with  plenty of seasoned underclassmen. The infusion of experience and young upcoming players has the Lady Bulldogs optimistic for a solid outing this season.

Jenkins is determined to build a strong program for years to come, but knows his team may take some bumps along the way.

“Losing three seniors and two transfers will make for an adjustment period, we will likely have five new starters so being patient and trusting our process will be important,” said Jenkins

Burgin will dress three seniors, however with newcomers to the roster Jenkins will be in a position in which he will need to turn to his younger talent in key moments.

“Jemma Jenkins and Cloey Henson have been staples for the right side of our infield for the past couple years, I’m expecting good things from Jocelyn Stanley as well. Her presence behind the plate and her batting ability will help us,” said Jenkins

Sophomore Jemma Jenkins was a weapon on the bases for Burgin, stealing 12 bases on 12 attempts. Her next step will be to improve on her .167 batting average. Jenkins is now being tasked with leading the pitching rotation. A responsibility she had never been asked to do before. “I’ve had to learn several new skills including pitching,” said Jemma Jenkins.

Jemma and Ashton Lester are considered by the coaching staff as the “Swiss army knifes” of the team.

“I feel most comfortable in the infield but I can help the team at any position,” said Lester. Their versatility to play nearly every position gives Coach Jenkins the ability to field multiple line ups.

The Bulldog’s infield will consist of Gracie Watkins at first base, Jocelyn Stanley will rotate between second base and catcher, Cloey Henson at shortstop, Haley Hurst at third base and Ashton Lester will play everywhere but has appeared behind the plate early in the season for the Lady Bulldogs. Alli Stewart, Kaydance Logue and Leah Jenkins will round out the outfield.

Coach Jenkins’ primary focus this season is for his players to continuously improve.

“I want to see us get better as a team, I want us to trust the process and not be discouraged when things don’t go our way,” said the coach.

Jemma Jenkins wants her teammates to play with a sense of pride.

“My goal is for us to shake the stigma around Burgin athletics. We are here to compete every game,” said Jemma Jenkins.

The Bulldogs softball season opened Monday against Danville. Burgin will travel to Lincoln County Saturday to take on the Patriots and Berea in the Lady Patriot Triangle.

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