Softball looks to build off of district opening win

Team faces Sherman, McKinney North, Wylie during busy spring break

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Softball looks to build off of district opening win

Alex Bellows makes a catch in the outfield during practice.

Alex Bellows makes a catch in the outfield during practice.

Stu Mair

Alex Bellows makes a catch in the outfield during practice.

Stu Mair

Stu Mair

Alex Bellows makes a catch in the outfield during practice.

Nick Smith, Lead Reporter

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After a 5-2 win versus Denison on Monday night, the softball team looks to continue their successful start to district play with the next game Monday at 7 p.m., where the team faces a Sherman squad that beat Prosper 13-3 on Tuesday.

“Sherman is a much improved ball club from last year, where they went 0-14 in district, but this year I could see them as a playoff team,” head softball coach Jeff Roberts said. “They’ve improved that much, and I credit their coach greatly for that. Sherman has a freshman pitcher that is very good so we have to go out and hit the ball well against her. If we’re healthy and everybody is able to play, I could see it being a very good night for us.”

In preparation for possible weather problems on Tuesday, the softball team’s first district game against Denison was moved to Monday. This change proved successful as the fields were dry enough to play, and the softball team was able to pull out the win despite what Roberts called a few missed opportunities.

“Denison has improved a lot from last year, but we didn’t play nearly as well as we could have,” Roberts said. “The way I look at it it was the first time all year that we had our starting nine on the field, which is kind of crazy considering it was the first district game. Defensively we played very well, Mattie Boyd was back pitching for us which had an immediate effect on the team. Overall though, we got to make improvements and hit the ball more as there’s no excuse for only scoring five runs.”

While the win against Denison represents a step closer to the team’s goal of traveling 225 miles to the state tournament in Austin, it was also the first step for many of the girls’ high school softball careers. The freshman girls have already played in the stadium and with the team, but freshman Mattie Boyd said it was different experience playing her first district varsity game.

“I was super nervous, but also really excited playing Monday night,” Boyd said. “I’ve played in our stadium before, but being under the lights and in front of the community was a whole new environment. I was a little timid at the start, but once I found my groove I had a lot of fun and was happy to be playing. I think Dension was a good opponent as they challenged me to hit my spots and were aggressive at the plate.”

The weekend before it faced Denison, the softball team traveled to McKinney to compete against multiple teams with potential playoff runs in store for the 2016 season. While the team was unable to beat the undefeated Denton Guyer squad, it finished the weekend with two wins, two losses, and one tie. The team’s last game of the tournament proved to be the most challenging according to Roberts, as the girls lost 20-6.

“I think the game against Canyon was just a learning experience for us,” senior captain Jaclyn Willis said. “We had people in different spots due to injuries and illness, but really we just weren’t playing our game. Ultimately, we just realized how that was a preseason game and now we need to focus on our district opponents, which helped us to not let that loss hang over us against Denison.”

While students will be taking time off during Spring Break, the team won’t be taking anytime off from softball, facing Sherman, McKinney North, and Wylie East next week. The girls will play a McKinney North squad that is 1-0 in district, at home on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and Wylie East away on Friday at 7 p.m.

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