Thursday, April 3, 2014
The Lady Predators once again asserted their region dominance.
Behind a stellar all-around performance, Fox Creek (8-4, 5-0 Region 4-A) crushed Hunter-Kinard-Tyler, 22-1. The game was called after three innings due to a Trojan player being injured and with the game having no doubt as to the outcome.
“H-K-T struggled to have a pitcher, and in fast-pitch softball you have to have a pitcher,” David Bell, Fox Creek's head coach, said. “In their case they don't really have a feeder program to develop that pitching. It's just another region win.”
Jada Simpson struck out six of the nine batters she faced, allowing only one hit and one unearned run. As a team the Predators stole 23 bases in the game, with Betty Vignati and Hannah Culpepper both nabbing five each.
The Trojans struggled to get the ball over the plate, and in turn the Predators drew 17 walks. Fox Creek had 16 hits in 37 at-bats with the biggest being Nicole Gibson, who went 4-for-4 with a double and a triple, four RBIs and four runs scored.
“It was great to end on a win, but now we know the errors we've made through out the beginning of the season and can fix those in practice,” she said.
Fox Creek then found itself off until Tuesday in a scheduled game at home against region opponent North.
“Having a week between games is great because we get good hard practices in and are even more prepared for the next game day,” Gibson said.
Bell said that the layoff will give the team time to work on things that they need to improve. Even with such a lopsided victory, Bell said there were a number of things that they can improve and tweak.
The team, ranked No. 6 in the latest High School Sports Report, will also play at home against Williston-Elko on Thursday at 5 p.m. After that is a big test against North Augusta at 5 p.m. at Citizens Park in Aiken.
“North Augusta is awesome, Derrick (Quinn) runs a great program and the girls are great players,” Bell said.
Gibson said she and her teammates will be ready for the test.
"We'll go out there and play hard like we know how to do," she said. "To me it's exciting to step out of region games and play bigger schools. So much more aggression is required."
Saturday the team will play Andrew Jackson, also at Citizens Park, at 9 a.m. and Pelion at 1 p.m. Should they advance in tournament play, they will play at 4 p.m. in the semi-finals and at 6 p.m. in the championship game.
Scott Rodgers is the news editor at The North Augusta Star and has been with the paper since January 2013.