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First Kilgore College softball roster taking shape

By Jack Stallard
June 21, 2012 at 11 p.m.

KILGORE - The inaugural Kilgore College softball team is still more than six months away from playing games that count in the standings, but the roster for the 2013 spring season is already taking shape.

Kilgore held a tryout camp at Streamflo Field on Thursday, with 24 prospects from around the state hoping to catch the attention of KC head coach Leslie Messina and her staff. When the dust cleared after nearly four hours, Messina called the tryouts a big success.

"I think we found some kids," Messina said. "The coaches will hash it out more tomorrow. I think it was a little much to ask to find six kids today, but we probably got four or five that we like."

Messina said before the tryouts began she hoped to carry a roster of 24 players, and had just six spots remaining.

"We need athletic kids," she said. "We're looking at middle infielders and outfielders, and of course you always need pitching. We're looking for kids who are able to help us out, if not immediately, down the road."

Recent Sabine High School graduate Mallory Ford was one of several East Texas players hoping for a chance to play softball close to home.

"My mom told me about the tryouts," said Ford, an outfielder. "I figured I didn't have anything to lose by trying. I just wanted to come out and show what I can do and see what happens."

Thursday's hopefuls included East Texas players from Jefferson, Overton, Timpson, Henderson, Athens, Clarksville, Winnsboro, New Diana, Hawkins an Linden-Kildare as well as prospects from Columbia, Arlington, Carrollton, Marietta and Willis.

Also on hand were Jessica Simon of Hallsville, who played for Messina at Texarkana College and will play at KC, Lakin Kerby of Hallsville and Molly Mackey of Overton. Kerby, a 2012 graduate, recently signed with Kilgore. Mackey played last season at Angelina College and will be a sophomore transfer for the Rangers.

"I'm pretty excited about the move," said Mackey, a first baseman. "I've always been a hometown girl and it's great to be able to come back and play close to my hometown. My parents won't have to travel as much to see me play, and my sister (Abby) is a senior and I'll be able to go to most of her games."

Kilgore College board members voted in May to add softball and introduced Messina as its first head coach for the program. Messina spent eight seasons at Texarkana, but that program was scrapped for financial reasons.

Messina led Texarkana to East Zone conference titles in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2012, and Texarkana won the regional championship and earned a berth in the NJCAA National Tournament in 2007.

Kilgore will play in the Region XIV Conference East Division along with Navarro, Trinity Valley, Lon Morris, Paris and Bossier Parish.

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