You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
top story

Berkeley softball losing six seniors who leave program on solid ground

Jakayla McKelvey slid

Berkeley's Jakayla McKelvey scores a run in the Lower State championship series. She will be a returning starter next spring for the Stags.

Six Berkeley High School softball seniors are leaving the Stags' program in better shape than when they first arrived.

The group helped Berkeley win region and postseason district championships and led the team into the Lower State championship series. A break here or there and maybe the girls could have reeled in the state’s biggest prize.

Berkeley finished 28-5, buoyed by some stellar leadership from the seniors.

“I think they were a great example of how to treat people,” Berkeley coach Kelley Dillon said after her fourth season at the helm. “They appreciated every teammate with respect. The team got along well because of how they carried themselves. I’m really sad to see them go and for them not to reach that goal we had in mind of a state championship, but they showed the younger players how to play and what it takes to play at that level. They’ll be some hard shoes to fill because of their passion for the game.”

Four of the six are going on to play in college: shortstop Jersey Silver (Presbyterian), catcher Gracie Prince (Charleston Southern), third baseman Skylar Page (Presbyterian) and second baseman Hayden Richberg (Concord). Harley Williams played outfield and Hannah Haines was a first baseman.

Silver was an all-state selection and Prince an all-Region 7-AAAAA pick. Both made the South Class AAAAA-AA-A all-star squad.

Headlining the returning group is Region 7-AAAAA player of the year outfielder/pitcher Abby Prince, a rising junior, and outfielder/pitcher Gracie DeCuir.

DeCuir, a rising senior, was also an all-region selection.

Seven more rising seniors can return, too.

In addition to Abby Prince and DeCuir, Caroline Ballentine is experienced inside the circle. Savannah Ballentine has played some right field, catcher and third base and Riley Daniel is back at first base.

Jakayla McKelvey, Taylor Garvin and Lilly McCollum are outfielders returning.

As for 2022, Dillon is confident the Stags will be in the mix for more region and district titles.

“They’re going to be ready,” she said.