Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Jun. 22—Daviess County High School’s recent run through the 2021 KHSAA State Softball Tournament was an impressive one, and there’s little reason to believe the Lady Panthers can’t make a return trip next season.

DC, after impressive victories over No. 2 Louisville Ballard, Pendleton County and Lewis County, dropped a 13-2 decision to a superb, hard-hitting and third-ranked Louisville Butler contingent in Sunday’s state title game at the University of Kentucky.

All in all, it was a breakthrough season for the Lady Panthers, along with 12th-year head coach John Biggs and his excellent staff. Daviess County won 34 of 41 games and has clearly established itself as one of the most consistently sound programs in Kentucky.

Next season, the Lady Panthers will miss the likes of players like shortstop Abby Newman, the Messenger-Inquirer Area Player of the Year who will play at Western Kentucky, pitcher-designated player Greysee Whiteker and right fielder Kelsea Roby, but the cupboard is far from bare when looking at the prospects for 2022.

DC will return one of the best 1-2 power punches in the entire commonwealth in catcher Millie Roberts, who long ago committed to Auburn University, and first baseman Jessie Daniels, whose breakthrough season this spring helped propel the Lady Panthers to new heights. Both players, along with Abby Newman, were named to the All-State Tournament team.

Roberts, who will be a senior, hit .415 with 12 doubles, 11 home runs and 46 RBIs, and is already the program’s career home run leader. Daniels, who blossomed into a .477 hitter with 14 doubles, 14 homers and a team-high 56 RBIs, will be a junior. Make no mistake, Daniels is destined to land at an NCAA Division 1 school, as well.

But there’s more — plenty more.

Third baseman Hattie Newman, who will be a senior, batted .313, and rising senior center fielder Katie Mewes — also named to the M-I All-Area Team — batted .303 and emerged as one of the club’s best clutch hitters in late-inning situations. Mewes, too, was a key factor in DC getting as far as it did this spring.

Also back are left fielder Sophie Simone, a rising senior who is a stellar defender, and rising senior second baseman Seana Leibfried, who had two of her team’s four hits in the state championship game.

One of the biggest reasons Daviess County will remain a state championship threat, however, is the return of rising junior pitcher Raylee Roby, who went 17-4 and will likely emerge as one of the best hurlers in the commonwealth over the next two seasons.

Roby is a gamer who wants to be handed the ball every day, loves to compete, throws a wide array of effective pitches and is always around the plate. She’s the real deal, indeed.

Moreover, Daviess County’s deep and talented roster is well-stocked with young players, who, after another summer of travel ball, will be well-suited to step in and make their own contributions to a burgeoning program that figures to only get better in the years to come.

What DC will be hoping to duplicate more than anything else next season is the remarkable team chemistry it possessed in 2021. This was a classy outfit who let their play on the field do their talking for them, and the program’s “Team First” motto never wavered from the first pitch of the season to the final pitch on Sunday.

The future for DC softball, indeed, appears exceedingly bright.