Bearden softball looks to build off successful 2022 season


Rylee Sieber is one of two returning aces for Bearden’s 2023 pitching staff.

Coming off of their best season in the past seven years, the Bearden softball team is looking to build off that momentum into another great season.

The Lady Bulldogs, who finished last season with a 13-9-1 record and in second place in the district standings, have started their season with a 3-5 record, but two of those losses came to traditionally strong programs Maryville and Farragut. 

The team is young this year, but it returns upperclassmen production from last season including junior pitchers Lauren Spainhower and Rylee Sieber and senior infielder Bella Silvan.

“Now that I am an upperclassman, I have a much more impactful role and voice to try and lead our team to a successful season,” Spainhower said. “We have a lot of underclassmen this year, so I have to step up as a role model for them and support them when needed.”

The Lady Bulldogs had three seniors depart from last season’s team, two of whom – Nicole Couvertiere (West Georgia) and Bradynn Belcher (Berry) – are playing at the college level. 

“We are incredibly proud of our seniors from last year, and now we have had to adapt to the team without them,” Spainhower said. “We have worked on player development all offseason in order to fill the gaps in the lineup.

“We have definitely experienced growing pains, but I’m incredibly confident in the abilities of the girls on our team.”

The Lady Bulldogs compete in one of the most difficult softball districts in the state. District 4-AAAA features two-time defending state champion Farragut and has powerhouses Maryville and Heritage as well.

Bearden hosts Farragut on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. It won’t get any easier after that, as Maryville and Hardin Valley are the two next games.

“We need to stay focused and disciplined throughout the whole season,” Spainhower said. “We cannot let a loss or a bad game affect us and break us down mentally. Every game in the district is incredibly important, and we just have to take it one game at a time.”