Lady Bomber Softball Striving For Improvement
A new coach arrives at Ballard Memorial to try and help rebuild a youthful Lady Bomber softball team. The team consists of two seniors, three juniors, two sophomores, five freshman, and eight middle schoolers. First year Coach Terry Amis has several years of coaching experience, however, it will be the first time coaching softball. Coach Amis has coached the American Legion Post 31 baseball team, the Paducah Storm travel team, high school baseball at Lone Oak, Heath, and Ballard Memorial. So it will be a bit of a transition for him coaching softball for the first time, as well as the players. Coach Amis said, “It’s a big adjustment. I’ve told the players to be patient with me and I will be patient with them”. He says that pitching is the biggest difference he has seen so far between baseball and softball as other aspects such as hitting, defense, and running bases are similar between both sports.
The Lady Bombers have a combined 20-36 record over the last two seasons, and this year’s season stacks up to be a challenge for the youthful Lady Bombers. ‘We’ve been working hard on fundamentals such as hitting and defense,” said Coach Amis adding, “We’ve got a long way to go and we’re a very, very young ball team.” The seniors Jade Babb and Taylor Foster will be relied on to show some leadership for the younger players. Also juniors Rebekah Hogancamp and Ashleigh Tyson are expected to contribute from the mound and from the batter’s box. “The kids are working hard and what we want to do is improve week to week,” said Amis.
Trying to build confidence in this young team may be the biggest challenge facing the coaching staff. We’ve got to get them to believe in themselves,” said Amis adding, “If you believe you can win, then you can.” Going up against more experienced teams will be obstacles to overcome, but by the end of the season, this team hopes to be in contention for the district title. Coach Amis feels Graves would be the front runner for the district title. Mayfield and Ballard Memorial expect to battle for the second seed in the Third District and both teams are fairly young. “We’ve got a group of kids that want to win. They’re hungry to win. They have great attitudes and they are eager,” said Amis.
The Lady Bombers hit the field for the first time for an outside practice on Thursday. They practiced on Thursday and Friday, and then had to face the St. Mary Lady Vikings to open the season with a double header at Ballard Memorial on Saturday, March 15th. The Lady Vikings ended the Lady Bomber season last year in the opening round of the Third District Tournament. This season, St. Mary moves over to the Second District, but it is still an old rivalry between the two teams. The Lady Bombers showed their youthfulness in the opening game of the season. After getting the first out, the Lady Bombers then allowed a single and two walks to load the bases. A pass ball on a pitch would allow one run to score. Third baseman Shelby Amis threw out the runner at first base for the second out, but that allowed a runner to score. The next Lady Viking batter doubled into the outfield for the 4-0 lead. They pushed through another run in the second for a 5-0 lead heading into the bottom of the second. Jade Babb got the only hit in the game in the second, and a few Lady Viking miscues allowed her to score to cut the lead to 5-1. However the Lady Bomber bats remained silent for the remainder of the game and the Lady Vikings pushed through two more runs in the third and four each in the fourth and fifth innings for 15-1 victory in game one of the double header. Junior Ashleigh Tyson picked up the loss in the opener. The second game saw a tight game through the first four innings. Eighth grader pitcher Rianah Fields kept the Lady Bombers close as they trailed 3-0 entering the fourth. Leah Shelley reached on an error for the Lady Bombers and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Shelby Amis grounded out on a fielder’s choice that allowed Shelley to score to cut the lead to 3-1. However a disastrous fifth saw the Lady Vikings score eight runs to take the 11-1 victory. The Lady Bombers did not get a hit in the game to continue their hitting woes to start the season 0-2.
The Lady Bombers are scheduled to face Fulton County at home on Monday night before traveling to Marshall County to face the Lady Marshals on Thursday. They return to Marshall County to complete in the Marshall County Slugfest on Friday and Saturday. Ballard Memorial is scheduled to face Vienna, IL at 7:00 and Murray at 8:30 on Friday night. They follow that up with two games on Saturday as they compete against St. Mary at 9:00 that morning before facing Glasgow at 1:30 in the afternoon. Coach Amis said, “They’re hustling and they’re eager. We are rebuilding here, but I am tickled to death in them.”