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Kilgore College opens fall softball season with weekend doubleheaders

By Jack Stallard , Jack Stallard
Sept. 11, 2015 at 8:02 a.m.

With a good mix of returning veterans and an infusion of new talent, the Kilgore College softball team opens its 2015 fall season at home this weekend with a pair of twinbills.

The Rangers will take on Texas Slam at 10 a.m. and noon Saturday and then host American Freedom Ruyle at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sunday at Stream-Flo Field.

It will mark the beginning of a 20-plus game fall campaign for the Ranger.

"This (the fall season) is a learning experience for our team," Kilgore head coach Leslie Messina said. "It's a chance to review fundamentals, learn to play with each other since we have a lot of new people and bond as a team. I'm very excited. We have a good group of players, and I think we've improved on some weaknesses since the spring. We're excited to get going."

Kilgore will host Hill College at 1 and 3 p.m. on Wednesday, and will not play at home again in the fall until hosting Texas Elite Gold-Moreno on Oct. 10.

Veterans returning for KC this fall include Angelica Gonzales (.330, 2 HR, 17 RBI), Hayley McCullers (.317, 3 HR, 19 RBI), Hayley Vavra (2-11, 4.21 ERA), Jenna Johnson, Kelsey Ancelot (.274, 8 RBI), Madison Goolsby and Jordyn Rogers (6-12, 4.43 ERA).

Kilgore finished 12-33 overall and 9-19 in the Region XIV Conference East Zone (Navarro, Angelina, Tyler, Trinity Valley, Paris, Northeast Texas and Bossier Parish). Fifteen of Kilgore's losses were by two runs or less, including seven one-run setbacks.

"This is a new year and a new team with a new identity and new personality," Messina said. "It's such a different team, I don't know if last season will carry over much, but it is about finishing. I'm glad we competed. Now, it's time to take the next step."

Messina said East Texas players Keke Johnson (Pine Tree), Amber Williams (Kilgore), Ali Modisette (Harleton) and Hallee Carter (Van) could play a key role in KC's upcoming fall and spring seasons.

Johnson hit .366 as a senior at Pine Tree with five home runs, seven doubles, three triples, 17 RBIs and eight stolen bases. Williams was a .580 hitter with three home runs, 19 RBIs, nine doubles, a triple and six stolen bases, and she also picked up a couple of wins inside the circle.

Modisette helped lead Harleton to back-to-back trips to Austin for the UIL State Softball Tournament. As a senior, she finished 13-1 inside the circle with a 1.11 ERA while hitting .411 with two home runs, 33 RBIs, 13 doubles and a .622 slugging percentage.

Carter hit .528 for Van last season with three home runs, six triples, 15 doubles, 34 RBIs, 54 runs scored and 20 stolen bases in 20 attempts.

The Rangers will also battle Weatherford College, LeTourneau University, UT Tyler, SFA, Houston Baptist and San Jacinto on the road this fall.



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