By BEN JOHNSON
Clay Davis wanted to make sure Lindsea Ross’ bat stayed in the lineup. To do that, the Northeastern State coach approached Ross about a possible position switch to allow for more playing time.
“She’s been a catcher her whole collegiate career,” Davis said. “But things kind of shaped up to where we had three catchers — all three could be a starting catcher any day of the week.
“...We asked her in the fall if she would move to right field, and she did it willingly. The only thing she said was ‘whatever helps the team, coach. That’s what I want to do.’”
As a pitcher’s battery mate throughout her career, Ross said right field was pretty foreign to her.
“I know the position from a catcher’s standpoint,” said Ross, a senior from Midwest City. “But, learning all these sprints, my legs are still sore from all the running I have to do. But it’s been an eye-opening experience.”
Last season, Ross had a .246 batting average with 19 runs batted in.
Davis — in his first season as NSU’s coach — said Ross’ attitude is what he wants his club to adhere to on a daily basis.
“Lindsea is the picture of what we want our program to be about,” said Davis, who took over the program after coaching at Berryhill High School.
“Unselfishness, whatever it takes to win, however we can help our team to win — that’s what she’s all about.”
With NSU’s season opener against Arkansas Tech just two days away, Davis already has his tentative lineup set for Friday.
In the pitching circle will be Cayce Coleman, with Navada Campos set up behind the plate.
Around the diamond, starting at first base, will be Allyson Pogue, Megan Robison, Amanda Harjo and Lisa Ripperger.
NSU’s outfield, along with Ross in right field, will have a local feel with Sequoyah grad Saharra Henson in center field and Muskogee alum Madison Reed in left field.
“Saharra Henson will also bat leadoff for us,” Davis said.
As designated players, Danielle Huval and Kelsi Hilderbrandt look to split most of the time. Davis also said Lauryne Dester, a freshman from Oktaha, could be used in a utility role.
Davis, Wooldridge reunited
Davis and Kayce Wooldridge are getting quite familiar with one another.
Last season, the two were together at Berryhill, and this season they’re both at NSU. Davis took over during the summer months and Wooldridge signed her letter of intent to join the RiverHawks.
“She was actually committed somewhere else, and that program went through a coaching transition, as well,” Davis said. “She was released from her scholarship there, and after that I got the job here. Then things fell into place while we were looking for a pitcher, and what better one then a middle-class All-State kid who led the state in strikeouts? Why not her?”