Kinston Post 43 debuts softball team Tuesday, wins first two games
Kinston Post 43 has two teams this season.
Tuesday marked the debut of its first softball team, who picked up a pair of victories against Jackonsville Post 265 on the road in a doubleheader. Kinston Post 43 coach Jody Turner said it took a little while for the team to get going, but the players certainly made their marks moving forward.
“The first couple of innings they were nervous, but they started to realize their talents,” Turner said. “They were able to settle down, enjoy the game and play how they can, so once that happened it was like a well-run machine. They gelled and we were able to win two games against a Jacksonville team with a ton of talent.”
American Legion softball rules specify players in the senior league can participate from their freshman year of high school up to the first year of college, permitted she doesn’t turn 19 before August 1. Kinston Post 43’s initial roster has only one player with college experience — Mount Olive’s Amber Parker — but have plenty of talent, with most of the roster coming from North Lenoir or South Lenoir.
Turner said a South Lenoir assistant coach was a catalyst in helping to bring an American Legion team to Kinston this year.
“Thurman Pate helped get it going,” Turner said. “It was something we were trying to get in the works for a while, but we’re tickled to death having the ability to get it started. I think we have a good foundation for the first year with players from South Lenoir, North Lenoir, East Duplin and Southern Wayne, and it will only get better moving forward.”
Turner said his job will be to simply manage the talent on the field.
“They know how to play the game,” Turner said. “Their IQ of the sport is impeccable, so my only job is to forge chemistry — let them get a feel for each other. I’m not trying to coach as far as mechanics, so they have free range to play and have fun.”
Overall, Turner said he can see growth in the coming years.
“I think word of mouth will help us grow and as people get more aware with what’s going on, I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re able to have a junior legion team next year, along with a substantial senior squad,” Turner said.
Kinston Post 43 play Wilmington 545 on the road Thursday. The team’s first home game will be June 27 at 7 p.m. against Jacksonville 265 and will be played at Barnet Park.
Here’s the roster for the inaugural Kinston Post 43 softball team
Mary Jane Davenport
Mary Katherine Raynor
Sara Beth Stroud