A year ago first-year coach Everett Hodges put a young squad on the diamond for the Waurika fast-pitch softball squad and experienced limited success.
The 2019 version of the Lady Eagles fashioned a 5-16 mark, but that was a vast improvement over the previous few seasons and the outlook for the 2020 campaign is optimistic as the Lady Eagles return all the starters for last year’s team.
Waurika will open the season Monday when they host Wilson and Big Pasture. The Lady Eagles will return to action Tuesday by hosting Ryan.
Grandfield will come to Waurika one week from today to close out a busy first week of the fast-pitch season.
Besides being long on experience, the Lady Eagles will also feature some depth for the first time in a number of years as 14 players make up the pre-season roster.
Leading out in the circle for the Lady Eagles will be Riley Howell. Liberti Simmons, Alana Lewis and Faith Roberson will also be counted on to provide Coach Hodges with some options with the pitching staff.
One of the areas of concentration in pre-season workouts has been at the plate and Coach Hodges thinks fans will see the difference.
All the leading hitters from last year return for the Lady Eagles including two seniors – Hope Cummings and Landry Forsyth. Gracie Walling will also be counted on to provide some offensive punch for the Lady Eagles.
Cummings, Simmons and Forsyth were all-conference selections a year ago for Waurika.
“This might be the first year I feel we can have all nine hitters in the lineup able to hit,” said Hodges in talking about the upcoming season.
“We also might have the fastest outfield in this part of the state with Simmons, Showalter (Aubree) and Barnes (Brooklyn),” added Hodges.
Simmons recently was cleared to play after a recent ACL injury.
Look for Faith Hill, MacKenzie Taylor, Alexia Henry and Harley Bradshaw to also provide help off the bench in the 2020 season.
“Our season sets up to have a little success early,” Hodges noted.
In reflecting on this year’s schedule Hodges believes with the strength of the pitching staff for the Lady Eagles they can compete with anybody.
“Ringling is always tough and Temple will be improved,” Hodges said.
Kassie Bohot is serving as an assistant coach this fall for the Lady Eagle fast-pitch squad.
With experience, depth and talent, the Lady Eagles are poised to have the best season in years and could possibly contend for their first district title in school history.
Lady Eagles Fast-Pitch Schedule
10: Wilson and Big Pasture; 11: Ryan; 13: Grandfield; 17: at Ringling; 18: at Velma-Alma; 20, 22: Southern Eight Conference Tournament; 27: Temple and Geronimo at Temple.
1: at Ryan; 3: at Grandfield; 8: at Central High; 10, 12: at Temple Tournament; 14: at Wilson; 15: Ringling; 17: Temple; 21: Velma-Alma; 24: District Tournament.