Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Like their counterparts on the baseball field, the Fox Creek softball team is hitting its stride at the right time.
The Lady Predators finished their region slate with a 12-0 run and a 17-6 overall record. Head coach David Bell has made no secret that his expectation is a state title.
Against Wardlaw Academy, the team won 12-4 on senior night. They turned around and beat Blackville-Hilda in a doubleheader, 9-0 and 13-3.
“We still have a lot of little things that we need to get better at,” Bell said. “We’ve worked on them and they’re getting better, but honestly they’re a young team. We still have to clean a few things up. We have some solid pitching, Jada (Simpson)’s ball is moving great, Hannah (Culpepper) came in and threw hard, and we got a variety of hitting.”
Though the Predators have a .454 overall team batting average, few have enjoyed a finer year than sophomore catcher Morgan Matthews. Though she may only measure 5-foot in height, her bat played large as she was third best in batting average (.562), third in runs (23), second in hits (27), second in RBIs (21), second in doubles (six) and second in triples (two).
“I would say we’re playing well, yeah,” she said. “We’re killing everybody. ... When the playoffs come around we need to be on fire all the time.”
Matthews is a player that, though she’s an underclassman, has been one of the most vocal leaders on the squad.
“My job is just to get everybody fired up really,” she said. “I’m weird, and really loud, and obnoxious, and I just want everyone else to be real loud with me. I just want everyone to be happy with me.”
Bell said that region championships and the No. 1 seed seven of the past eight years, with the past three being under his watch.
“The girls know that the playoffs are going to be different,” he said. “They’re as prepared as we can get them at this point. It’s going to boil down to execution and heart. Hopefully they have some heart; they’re girls, they’re up one day and down the next. When they go at it I think we can compete with anybody. Give us a bad day and we can be run ruled by anybody.”
Also like their counterparts, the Predators will play Great Falls in the first round. The game will be at 5 p.m. at the school’s softball field.