Stillwater News Press

Sports

July 10, 2012

Stillwater High Softball uses summer to prepare for season

STILLWATER, Okla. — Most high school teams use the summer as a way to get a couple extra games in to help prepare for their regular season.

But when it comes to softball, Stillwater High School coach Amber Davis treats the summer like it is the regular season.

“With us playing in the summer, we’re hoping to eliminate some of the tedious work we have to do during two-a-days,” Davis said. “Our season starts so early, we really don’t have time to work on the little things.”

One of the little things Davis has been working on is finding some more offense. And with two-a-days starting July 23, Davis said she feels like she’s found that offense over the summer.

“The girls have come around so much since last year,” Davis said. “We’ve faced some pretty tough pitching in some of our tournaments, but we were able to put the bat on the ball. For the summer, I think we’re hitting around .345, which is pretty good for us. We’ve had a lot of at bats and the last three tournaments we’ve really hit the ball well.”

With six seniors graduating from last year’s team, Davis said the summer has also been good for developing leadership while facing some of the state’s best competition.

“At first I wasn’t sure how they would respond without those seniors,” Davis said. “I was a little worried earlier in the season, but they handled everything well and showed that they are ready to compete.

“We played a really difficult schedule. Ninety-five percent of the teams that we faced were the elite teams — teams that were made up of players from all over — so that was good for us. It showed that we can compete with teams who have the best pitchers and the best hitters on their roster.”

But what may benefit the Lady Pioneers the most in the future was the amount of playing time some of the younger players received.

“Our schedule really worked out well,” Davis said. “We had some girls play in our under-14 team and a couple of them on our under-16 team. So we’re not throwing them in the fire right away against girls that are going to be seniors. We’re hoping to gradually bring them along to help them adjust to the speed of high school softball.”

Even with having to replace pitcher Chandler Nett in the pitcher’s circle, Davis said she’s excited for the upcoming season.

“Obviously, we’re going to miss Chandler but we will have four pitchers on our roster this year,” Davis said. “We have a couple of juniors and seniors who will make a nice rotation. Overall, this incoming senior class is tremendous as far as talent goes. We have a chance to be really good this year. Our two-a-days start on July 23, so it’s coming up fast, but we still have a lot of work to do between when those two-a-days start and the start of our season.”

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