The Lady Tigers will open the season against French Camp at 10 a.m. and will play Leake County at 11:30 a.m..
Helms, who comes over in his first season coaching slow pitch, said although the pace is not as fast as fast pitch, he likes the action.
“I like it a lot,” Helms said. “It’s a slow game, and it’s a hitter’s game. That’s one thing we do have, and that’s hitters.”
The season, the Lady Tigers will look for a seventh straight season to make an appearance in the 3A playoffs. They managed pull out 14 wins a season ago and saw a tough Mooreville team in the playoffs.
The Lady Tigers are again loaded with talent, according to Helms.
“Right now, we’re hitting very well, and these kids are having fun,” Helms said. “We’re going to play ball”
Returning for the Lady Tigers will be Mary Ashton Thornburg, who hit over .600 last season. Thornburg, a junior, will play shortstop for a loaded Lady Tigers infield. MyCala Helms, an eighth grader, will play third base, and Anna Paige Lott, the sophomore, will play across at first base. Senior Lexie Flowers returns for the Lady Tigers and will play second base. Flowers hit .350 for the Lady Tigers last season.
“She’s [Flowers] going to give you 100 percent every play,” Helms said. “Both MyCala and Mary Ashton have strong arms at short and third, and Anna Paige is as good as it gets at first base.”
The Lady Tigers will have Elizabeth Lowery at catcher, and stellar hitter Whitney Shaw returns to the Winona outfield. Shaw hit .300 a season ago. Adrienne Eskridge, who hit over .400 for the Lady Tigers last season, returns to the outfield as well as Paula Ables and Shelley Hedgepeth. Helms spoke highly of Jada Mims and Bria Weathersby, who will see time in the outfield.
Helms said Blake Bond, who he said is swinging the bat very well, will pitch this season as well as Tomesha Brown, Melissa Pacillo and senior Mary Hannah Timbs.
“The key for us is to score runs,” Helms said. “And I think with this team we will. We have a group of hard working girls, and there are no slackers.”
Helms said he feels the key will be pitching with a high arch on the ball. He said if they do that by playoff time, they’ll be hard to beat.