Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Fox Creek High School’s softball team is meticulously preparing for the playoffs.
Last season saw the Predators (14-6, 10-0 Region 4-A) advance to the upper state championship. This year, Fox Creek has its sights set on a state championship.
“We’re just trying to fix the little things that are wrong here and there,” said David Bell, Fox Creek’s head coach. “Really, we’re working on the little things that I know are going to come up in the playoffs. Bunting is a big deal, we’ve got to be able to get the bunt down, and we’ve done it better the last few weeks. It’s still not where I want it to be. The Aiken tournament helped us find a lot of our holes, which are mostly little things.”
While region play gives Fox Creek game experience, Bell uses the out-of-region games to challenge his team and show them what they will face in the playoffs.
“We scheduled Wardlaw late in the season, because they normally have a very good team, and we’ll be able to play somebody stronger,” he said. “Really, we’re just making sure they know what they’re going to face. With the exception of the freshmen, they know what to expect. It’s not like we’re going into the playoffs for the first time; we made a deep run last year all the way to Dixie.”
Hannah Culpepper, a junior pitcher and second baseman for the Predators, wants to end the season with a championship.
“This year, we’ve been working really hard at practice and in the games,” she said. “I want to finish the year with a state title. We need to have the same offense we had during the Barnwell game at the Midland Valley tournament (a 17-8 win). That would help a lot.”
Although she’s just a junior, Culpepper is hoping to bring some more leadership come playoff time.
“I actually think I’m the one on the team that needs to step up the most,” she said. “I need to be more of a leader, as a junior, to get everybody pumped up and ready to play. I think I need to be more vocal and excited for the game and keep everybody’s heads up.”
Fox Creek was to have played Wardlaw on Tuesday for Senior Night.
The Predators then have a doubleheader scheduled for Thursday at Blackville-Hilda.