After an 18-11 finish last season, senior pitcher Alysen Febrey and the Lady Panthers softball team are off to a 7-8 start this year, while currently 4-3 in the region, with wins coming against Whitewater, Newnan, Stockbridge and McIntosh.
“Hard work, hard work, hard work,” softball coach and health/personal fitness teacher Mark
Williamson said. “Do the little things right and the big things will take care of themselves.”
When seniors Natalie Orcutt and Sarah Flanders, both former four-year starters, moved on to play in college, the Lady Panthers had openings for key players. Febrey, freshman catcher Kate Ashmore, and junior catcher and outfielder Shelby Daniel stepped up to fill the void.
“We need discipline to accomplish our goals,” Williamson said. The Lady Panthers demonstrated this discipline in the seven wins they have, including their recent victory over the Lady Chiefs.
The game against McIntosh on Sept. 3 was one-sided the whole way. The Lady Panthers led the Lady Chiefs 4-0 after two innings. In the third, Febrey hit a home run over the right field wall to make it 5-0. After Daniel reached on an error, Jordan Childress pinch ran and stole second before scoring on a two-RBI triple by Ashmore to make it 7-0.
The Lady Panthers’ bats continued to hit, including a two RBI double from Daniel who advanced to third on the throw home. After an RBI single from Laura Sellers, the score was up to 11-0. later, after a few errors and wild pitches from McIntosh, the score increased to 14-0. Febrey and freshman pitcher Wakano Sato combined to allow only three hits in the Lady Panthers’ blow-out victory that ended in four innings.
The Lady Panthers have outscored opponents 45-2 in their last four games, winning three of the four. The next game against Morrow will take place Sept. 10 at SMHS. If the softball team continues to work the bats and throw shutouts, their dream of a trip to the state playoffs will become a reality.