No matter where Allen plays one thing is for sure – for the fourth year in a row she will be the Lady Rams’ leadoff hitter. Allen hit an almost-unheard-of .635 for the entire 2011 season.
“Bethany has a consistent bat,” Tarver said. “We always expect her to get on base. When she is up I am always thinking about the next situation because I expect her to be on base.
“She is usually three for four or four for five and scores three or four runs a game. She is just a model of consistency, and she also hits for power. She is a hitting machine.”
Flexibility will also be the key for the Lady Rams, and Tarver has that with juniors Hope Patterson and Stephens, both of whom can play anywhere in the infield and pitch. Sophomore Kelsey Keeton will return to the circle, but when Hope Patterson or Stephens pitches Keeton can play first base.
“Hope and Allie bring the same element as BB (Allen), consistency,” Tarver explained. “They do not have many weaknesses, and we get production from them game in and game out. Kelsey is the same way.
“Hope and Allie both can play first and third and pitch, and Hope may play shortstop this year.”
Keeton made remarkable strides in her freshman year last season. With Stephens and Hope Patterson suffering injuries on and off throughout the 2013 season, Keeton did most of the pitching.
“That freshman year is always so scary for those on varsity, and last year Kelsey went straight to the circle because of injuries to Allie and Hope,”
Tarver said. “The onus went to Kelsey, a freshman, and she was a leader in the circle on our team. She handled it beautifully, and her pitching carried us three rounds into the playoffs.