Triple Crown and more for Newton

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 13, 2006

Lakyn Newton figured to be a key contributor for the Jefferson Davis Community College Lady Warhawks softball team this season, but few would have predicted she would have had the kind of impact she did.

Newton not only won JDCC’s hitting Triple Crown, which consists of batting average, homeruns and RBIs, she obliterated her teammates in those areas.

The sophomore infielder from Greenville hit .434, .098 points higher than her closest competitor. She belted four homeruns, while no other Lady Warhawk had more than one. Newton drove in 50 runs. The next best by a JDCC player was 22.

Not only did Newton lead the Lady Warhawks in the Triple Crown categories, she also posted team highs in slugging percentage at .667, hits with 69, doubles with 25, total bases with 106, sacrifice flies with six and stolen bases with seven. Newton also had a streak this spring where she had nine hits in nine straight at-bats.

&#8220We’ve probably had players who have had better seasons in a category, but not across the board like Lakyn did this season,” JDCC coach Misti Nims said.

All this production came from a player who had respectable, but hardly mind-boggling numbers her freshman season when she hit .311 with no homers and 17 RBIs.

&#8220I don’t think anybody could have predicted she would have this kind of season. She did all right her freshman season, but it wasn’t anything spectacular,” Nims said.

Newton credits some of her increased production to a change in her batting technique.

&#8220My dad and boyfriend both worked with me a lot during the offseason. They told me I needed to start using my hips a lot more with my swing,” Newton said.

Nims gives a lot of credit to Newton’s work ethic.

&#8220She took a lot of extra swings on her own. She would often come in early and leave late. It obviously paid off,” Nims said.

Newton maintained her productivity despite the fact she did not have a set position in the field.

&#8220I pitched and played shortstop most of the time at Greenville, but for the most part I played virtually everywhere in high school so I’m used to moving around. In some respects, that has made me a better player because I’ve had to play so many positions,” Newton said.

Newton’s rapid rise in play has drawn a rapid increase in interest at the four-year level.

&#8220Lakyn wasn’t getting much in the way of looks after her freshman season. She is starting to draw a lot of interest from schools now, but not as much as one would think. Lakyn really didn’t become a hot commodity for the four-year level until this season, so a lot of schools are just now finding out about her. Winning our team Triple Crown the way she did is obviously a great marketing tool for her,” Nims said.

Newton is not sure at this time which direction she will go.

&#8220I’ve got a tryout coming up at Louisiana-Lafayette. I’m interested in Troy, but they’re out of scholarship money at this time and I would have to walk on there. West Florida, Delta State and Shorter College are also good possibilities. I’m going to have to make a decision pretty quickly because the window of opportunity closes a little more each day,” Newton said.