Saluqi baseball and softball teams gearing up for spring season

By Keith Gentry

SaluqiWith the spring semester now underway, the beginning of the Saluqis' baseball and softball seasons are right around the corner. 

The baseball team is under the direction of Erik Schoenrock who is entering his 5th year as head coach. Last season, Schoenrick guided the Saluqis to a school-record 44 wins and a national ranking by several publications. The Saluqis are scheduled to begin the 2024 season on January 26-27 in Pensacola, Florida with games against Coastal Alabama and Pensacola State.

ryce TurnerBryce Turner Peyton CharlesPeyton Charles

Despite losing a number of players off last year's squad, the Saluqis still return several players who were key contributors in 2023. Catcher/first baseman Bryce Turner played in 53 games as a freshman, batting .340 with 12 doubles, 4 home runs, and 32 runs batted in and is the only returning full-time starter. Three other returnees played in at least 30 games with 70 or more plate appearances - infielder Connor Brinkley (.250 batting average, 4 doubles, 2 home runs, 18 RBI), catcher Evan Ashe (.287 batting average, 2 triples, 1 home run, 18 RBI), and catcher/first baseman/outfielder Copeland Bradford (.310 batting average, 5 doubles, 2 home runs, 22 RBI).

Lefthander Peyton Charles is the top returning pitcher. As a freshman, Charles appeared in 13 games, including nine starts, and struck out 47 batters in 49-1/3 innings. Also back are righthanders Hayden Collins (14 appearances, 22 strikeouts in 23 innings, 3.52 earned run average) and Wes Butler (12 appearances, 22 strikeouts in 20-1/3 innings).

The 56-game schedule includes 27 conference games (three-game series against each of the nine TCCAA opponents).  In addition, the Saluqis play 34 home games at USA Stadium in Millington. 

2024 Saluqi Baseball Team 

Saluqi baseball and softball teams gearing up for spring season


Saluqi baseball and softball teams gearing up for spring seasonMandie Barrow Saluqi baseball and softball teams gearing up for spring seasonMariah Morgan

The Lady Saluqis' softball team, under 21st-year head coach Keith Gentry, returns just about everyone off last year's 23-win team. They will begin the 2024 season with a road game at Holmes Community College on Feb. 6.

Ten players are back, including seven who had at least 100 plate appearances - leadoff hitter and first baseman Mandie Barrow (led the team with a .437 batting average and a school-record .529 on-base average), shortstop Lauren Pettie (.341 batting average, one of the team's top fielders with a .953 average), leftfielder Mariah Morgan (two-time TCCAA Player of the Week, .399 batting average, led the team with 8 home runs and 51 runs batted in), right fielder/pitcher Maleyia Prather (.356 batting average with 5 home runs and 32 runs batted in, struck out 36 batters in 43-1/3 innings), second baseman/pitcher Jenifer Diehl (top pitcher with 9 wins and 113 strikeouts in 140-2/3 innings, also had a .358 batting average, 5 home runs, and 34 runs batted in), centerfielder Maddyx McNatt (.316 batting average, 10 doubles, 2 triples, 2 home runs, 26 runs batted in), and catcher Ashley Aldridge (.986 fielding average, 23 runs batted in.) Also returning are third basemen Mary Faith McCluskey (.244 batting average, 1 home run and 8 runs batted in) and Kenner Scott (5 doubles, 1 home run and 11 runs batted in), and pitcher Cailey Robbins (8 wins, 43 strikeouts in 128-1/3 innings.)

The 60-game schedule includes 36 conference games (four games against each of the nine TCCAA opponents.) The Lady Saluqis will play 28 home games at their new home field - South Park in Millington, Tennessee. 

2024 Lady Saluqi Softball Team

Saluqi baseball and softball teams gearing up for spring season