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Knox County starts the process of building on their 13-12 season of a year ago with a 6-9PM softball practice on Monday, August 10, 2020. Approximately 17 players including eight freshmen have been working on their softball skills this summer.
First year head coach Lauren Dale enters the 2020 season intensely familiar with the Knox County softball program. The 2015 Knox County HS graduate was an assistant coach with current Keokuk High School softball coach Zach Short last season.
Lauren Dale was an all-state pitcher at Knox County before going on to pitch four years at Truman State University. Dale won 56 Bulldog games in the circle.
“This summer we practiced twice a week in June and July,” Lauren Dale told the Edina Sentinel. “We had one scrimmage game. We were supposed to have another, but with everything going on we thought it would be safest to cancel it.”
“They have been working hard. We have been working on the fundamentals,” Coach Dale said. “We are instilling into our younger girls because that it the culture that we want to create.”
“The game is won and lost on the little details of the game,” Lauren Dale said. “We have been working on fine tuning the smaller details so that when we get into that situation, it just becomes natural.”
The Lady Eagles came off a third place appearance in the 2018 Class 1 softball championships, graduating all but three or four of their players. Knox County competed well and steadily got better.
The Lady Eagles played three of their best games of the season in a two week stretch last season. Arysta Snyder was the lone graduating senior off Knox County’s 2019 softball team.
Knox County has their storied Lewis and Clark Conference rival, defending state champion Salisbury on their schedule this time. Knox County travels to defending second place in Class 1 Canton on September 3.
Knox County has starting pitchers Kinsley Johnson and Daniela Dooley returning as well as all stater Riley Strange and sophomore standout Jen Hinkle. Johnson is a former All State softball player.
“We have a lot of talented athletes returning,” Lauren Dale said. “We have our pitchers returning. That is going to be really big. I look forward to this year. Arysta (Snyder) was a great player so we have a hole to fill on our team.”
“With our returning players and our incoming freshmen, I think we have a really bright future ahead of us,” Lauren Dale said.
Knox County will play at the Monroe City, Louisiana and Schuyler County varsity softball tournaments this season weather and conditions permitting. The Lady Eagles are slated to begin their varsity season at North Shelby on September 1, 2020.
Fans and patrons should be aware that Knox County has adopted a rule that if the district is not having school, their athletic teams cannot play. MSHSAA guidelines stemming from the Covid-19 response allow districts to play if holding virtual classes. Those same guidelines also allow individual school districts to make their own choices about playing with in person instruction or having virtual learning.
The Lady Eagles should have enough players to have a JV season for the first time in several years. ”I think having the leaders that we have is going to show the underclassmen what Knox County softball is all about.”