Softball: Hurricane's Hebb transferring to St. Albans
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- What looked like a question mark for the St. Albans softball program suddenly appears to be a strength heading into the 2013-14 school year.
Rising sophomore first baseman/pitcher Maddie Hebb, who starred for Hurricane in the Redskins' run to their first Class AAA state championship, said Wednesday that she will attend SA when school begins Aug. 9.
"My parents are building a house in SA since that's where my dad's from," Hebb said in a Twitter message Wednesday afternoon.
"It'll be finished during the school year so I'm starting there and living with my grandparents until it's built. I haven't told many people other than Josh (Caldwell, Hurricane's softball coach) but I'm gonna miss my crazy canes this year."
The move to St. Albans isn't exactly new territory for Hebb. She attended school there through middle school, and her family moved into the Hurricane school district prior to the start of the 2012-13 school year.
Also in somewhat familiar territory could be her role in a three-pronged pitching rotation for the Red Dragons. As a freshman, Hebb threw sparingly for Hurricane as state Player of the Year Courtney Rogers and sophomore Emily Davis handled the bulk of the team's pitching duties.
A lefty, Hebb figures to join rising senior Madi Marshall and rising sophomore Katie Holstein in what suddenly looks like a committee well-equipped to soften the loss of two-time All-State pitcher Ali Haynes.
Haynes, who led the state with 27 wins in SA's 28-5 season, will play at West Virginia State in 2014, as will her high school battery mate, All-State catcher Mariah Caudill.
Haynes' departure left SA with Marshall as its most experienced pitcher. She earned the team's only win without Haynes in the circle last season.
What could prove to be of the most immediate impact to the Red Dragons is Hebb's proficiency at the plate. As a freshman she hit .456 (47-for-103), ranking third on her team and 11th among all Kanawha Valley players. She added two home runs, and tied for sixth in the Kanawha Valley with 15 doubles while hitting in the No. 8 spot for Hurricane most of the season.
Hebb had two of Hurricane's six hits while going 2-for-3 in the Redskins' 2-0 win over St. Albans in Hurricane in the Region 4 championship game.
A member of the inaugural Daily Mail Kanawha Valley All-Rookie Team, Hebb was narrowly edged by Sissonville freshman pitcher/third baseman Alexee Haynes for KV Rookie of the Year honors. Her departure compounds the graduation losses suffered by the Redskins following their title run.
All-State catcher Linzie Reynolds and starting center fielder Nicole Pierson, who will play at Shenandoah (Va.) University, left the program after beating Wheeling Park in the Class AAA state championship game to cap of a perfect run in the school's first State Tournament appearance.
The team will return Rogers, Davis, All-State outfielder Addie Fullen, second-team All-State infielder Madison Casto, shortstop Cassie Sargent and outfielder Amber Null to its starting lineup. Of that group, Fullen is the only player entering her senior year.
Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-5170. Follow him on Twitter @ItsreallyDT.