Kevin Meacham inherits a squad that finished 14-9 last year, but must replace several key starters.
Meacham replaces Curtis Higgins, who resigned with a 29-46 record in three years as head coach. Trigg was 25-24 the past two years.
Meacham, 27, is a 1996 graduate of Hopkinsville High School and later from Murray State University.
He lettered five years for Hopkinsville’s baseball team and played for the Tiger football team also.
Meacham coached the Hopkinsville Middle School developmental team and does have some softball coaching experience.
"I was an assistant coach at Murray High while I was at Murray and enjoyed that experience," Meacham said, adding he only sees pitching as the major difference between softball and baseball.
"The fundamentals on the field are the same, and the pitchers still have to throw strikes. It’s just teaching the mechanics of pitching in softball that will be different," he said.
Meacham’s task could prove to be a difficult one as the Lady Wildcats must replace their battery and middle infield that was lost to a combination of graduation and transfers.
"We’re going to be really young because of what we lost from last year, but we’re going to be good defensively this year," he said.
Senior Ashley Adams is expected to see the bulk of the action on the mound, posting a 3.50 ERA in four innings of junior varsity action last year.
Adams will try and compensate for the loss of three-year starter Katie Moore, who pitched all but ten innings last year, posting a 1.91 ERA.
Meacham said Adams will also see action in the infield at second base and shortstop.
"She’s a good leader for us. She’s come along by leaps and bounds on the mound," he said.
Junior Megan Francis is Trigg County’s top returning hitter after batting .283 with eight RBI last year and had an on base percentage of .491. She should see time in the field at third base and behind the plate.
"Megan may be the best all-around player on the team. She makes good contact and plays smart," Meacham said.
Outfielder Felicia Crenshaw hit .262 last year with an on base percentage of .412.
Adams, Crenshaw, Francis, and outfielder Molly Walters are the only returning players who got more than ten at bats last year, forcing Meacham to promote players from the J.V. team.
Eighth grader Whitney Cain hit .435 for the J.V. team last year and should see time on the mound and at third base.
Freshman Samantha Furr (.238 J.V. average) will start the season at first base, eighth grader Dakota Littlejohn at second base, and sophomore Hayla Frye in right field.
Freshman Kaleesha Williams will start the season behind the plate after sitting out last year.
While Meacham has some holes to fill, he acknowledges the cupboard isn’t exactly bare in 2005.
"Curtis has built the program up in the past few years and done a fine job with it. I’m ready to take the program the next level and get more of our young girls involved," he said.
Despite the young squad, the first year coach has set some lofty goals for his team.
"We’d like to break .500 and win 18 games this year. We want people to know we’re going to challenge for the district title, and we’d like to get to the region tournament," Meacham said.
Since moving the fast pitch in 1995, Trigg County has never appeared in the region tournament.
Meacham plans to field a middle school team and play a schedule of games at that level as a way of creating a feeder system to the varsity program.
"The commitment level is improving, but is still not where I want it to be. We need to build some depth on this year’s squad, and this should help down the road," he said.
The Lady Wildcats opened the season at Paducah Tilghman Tuesday and will travel to Crittenden County Thursday, but returns home Friday to host Dawson Springs in a 5 p.m. contest at the Complex.
Meacham feels Lyon County, Livingston Central, and Caldwell County should challenge for the district title, but doesn’t count the Lady Wildcats out.
"I’ve heard they are the favorites, but I think they’re all beatable," he said.