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Lady Dawgs in search of another regional berth

Published 10:25pm Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Pike County Lady Bulldogs softball team is coming off a surprise year where they advanced to the regional tournament in head coach Karie Striplin’s first year with the program.

Coach Striplin and the rest of the Lady Dawgs are hoping to have similar success in Striplin’s sophomore campaign.

“We’re excited to get kicked off with softball this year,” Striplin said. “Right now, we’re waiting for basketball to finish up so we can get the rest our athletes back on the field.”

Striplin said she has seen a lot of improvement in her young players over the off-season.

”On Monday, we had our first day back hitting,” Striplin said. “I saw a lot of improvement from the girls. They’ve gone off to camp and worked on their swings. They got some experience last season, and the worked all through the off-season to get even more experience.”

While the Lady Dawgs will be young, coach Striplin thinks her team can compete right away.

“We have a good team coming back this year,” Striplin said. “Kathryn Youngblood is our sole senior this year, so we’ll be leaning on her to provide some leadership for the younger players. We have a lot of young players, and we’re a relatively young team, but that won’t stop us from competing every game.”

For a program that has seen more downs than ups in recent years, coach Striplin had a very simple goal.

“Our main goal is to have a winning record,” Striplin said. “If we can do that, then we’ll be in good position to make the playoffs. I’m just excited to be the coach again, and the girls are excited to get back on the field.”

This year, the Lady Dawgs will battle for an area title with Abbeville, Barbour County, and Montgomery Catholic.

The Lady Dawgs will open the season on the road at Cottonwood on Feb. 24. Pike County stays on the road to play rival Goshen on Feb. 27 before returning to Brundidge for their first home game on March 3 against Daleville.

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