Chapin welcomes back top senior

By Thomas Grant Jr.

A back injury kept Andee Dircks off the softball field for much of her junior year.

Through the first month of the season, the University of Michigan signee is making up for lost time. The Lady Eagles’ senior had 11 RBI and two home runs through the first eight games.

“It’s nice to have another girl in the lineup that can hit,” Chapin head coach Cal Saygar said. “But all these girls, we saw it last year how they all rallied and picked up the load. So it’s just really having another bat in the lineup that you know at any time you can have a really big play with her and all these girls kind of feed off each other and they all actually do really well behind the plate as a group.”

“Not playing last year that did a lot more than I thought it would,” she said. “But being out here, being able to play, it’s like a dream come true.”

Dircks’ return further enhances a Chapin lineup filled with experience and hitting. In Thursday’s 8-5 win over North Augusta, Reagan Haggard joined Dircks in posting a two homerun, six RBI game.

Eason Davis and Nicole Stockwell have also produced offensively, while Ella Majchrzak and Aspen Mayers have served as the 1-2 punch on the pitching mound.

Chapin will open Region 4-5A play Tuesday at nemesis Lexington. The Lady Eagles are counting on having played a formidable schedule against the last two Class 2A Lower State finalists Mid-Carolina and Gray Collegiate, Berkeley, Dorman, Saluda, and A.C. Flora will prepare them for their quest to dethrone the Lady Wildcats in the region.

“If we go into that game strong just like we’ve always have, I think we can beat them honestly,” Dircks said. “And if we do, then we’ve got a pretty good chance at winning region and going pretty far in the playoffs.”

“We’ve got a tough schedule, without a doubt,” Saygar said. “Everyone on our schedule, it can go either way. We do that on purpose to prepare us for the playoffs and that kind of thing. But being one of the best regions in the state and just picking up non-region games, it’s huge. So, we’re looking forward to the challenge and these guys, they’re ready. A couple of good seasons the past two years, they’ve got the experience and just got to do our jobs and see what happens.”

Photo by Chapin Eagle Club – Chapin’s Andee Dircks

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