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Fox Creek softball to readjust, recalibrate

  • Thursday, March 27, 2014

Staff photo by Bill Bengtson Fox Creek High School pitcher Hannah Culpepper looks to baffle another Ridge Spring-Monetta batter in her squad’s 20-0 waltz on March 18.

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Fox Creek’s softball team is beginning to play how David Bell envisioned they would.


The 9th ranked Predators (7-4, 4-0 Region 4A), crushed Ridge Spring-Monetta 20-0, beat Wagener-Salley 6-3, fell to Lewisville 8-7 and defeated Cardinal Newman 13-2. Fox Creek has played tough opponents, like Lewisville, closely and has throttled region opponents.


“There hasn’t been a lot of pressure, so far,” David Bell, Fox Creek’s head coach, said. “Wagener(-Salley) has a great young pitcher, a sophomore who did a great job against us the other day. We just have a lot of good players and we let them do what they do.”


Against Cardinal Newman, the Predators were able to have consistent hitting from the entire lineup to knock off the quality opponent.


“I have no clue, I don’t know,” Bell said on the win. “When they play, they’re as good as anybody. When they make fielding errors, it’s a struggle, but today they found a way. Cardinal Newman is a great team, they’re no slouch. If we play like that all the time, we’d win every game.”


Getting the start against the Cardinals was freshman Jada Simpson. Simpson picked up her third win in the game, which ended in six innings.


“She’s a great freshman, she’s got a good head about her shoulders,” Bell said. “I was so proud of her (against Cardinal Newman) because she wasn’t getting a lot of calls on the corners. Instead of losing it, she stayed focused and did what she needed to do. She brought the ball back over the plate to the point of getting a strike. That’s going to happen to us, that’ll happen in the playoffs. Her being able to keep her head about her and work like that keeps everybody behind her going and, when they all get it going and are fired up, they’re as good as anybody around.”


The fabulous freshman was able to lead her team to victory by keeping her teammates focused on the game.


“I was just hoping that we could all get focused, have a good game and stay positive,” Simpson said. “We have to keep our minds focused on the game. I just tell my teammates to stop thinking about the game, to not think about the last play, but the next one.”


Simpson, who also serves as a utility player, is hitting .600 on the season.


“I like to hit bombs, but that doesn’t always happen,” she said of her mindset at the plate. “My main goal is to get RBIs and score runs. If I don’t hit a home run every time that’s not a big deal to me, I just want our team to win. We’re doing great, we’re really focused. We’re shooting for state, so we have high goals and can’t afford to slack off any games. We try to just stay focused on our goal and keep on track.”


The Predators will face Hunter-Kinard-Tyler in a game that was to have happened on Tuesday, then will be off until April 1, when North comes to town. Bell is hoping to use the time off to correct the small things his team needs to work on.


“We’ve been keeping a lot of notes and a lot of things, little things, we need to get better at,” he said. “We’ve got to work on base running, little things with the bat, little things in the field. It’s nothing major, just a lot of little things and we really need this three or four day stretch just to practice. We’ve been playing pretty much every day back-to-back. That’s what we’re going to do this week, break it down and go back to little things. Then, we’ll bring it out the next week going into that Aiken tournament. We’ll readjust, recalibrate and see where we’re at.”


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