Pike Liberal Arts softball blasting through opponents on its way to six-game win streak

Published 6:38 pm Thursday, March 5, 2015

Here is a statistic worth keeping an eye on: in the last three games, the Pike Liberal Arts softball team has outscored its opponents 43-2.

There is no way around it — through their first 11 games of the season, the Lady Patriots have blown by almost all of their competition on the way to a 9-3 overall record and a six-game win streak, and they’ve done it with offensive and defensive dominance.

“The girls play really well together,” Pike Liberal Arts head coach Allie Park said. “If somebody is not on, someone else steps in.”

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Since the beginning of the streak on Feb. 27, the Lady Patriots have scored a combined 64 runs and allowed just seven.

For Park, it is easy to pinpoint just why Pike has been so successful over the last week.

The Lady Patriots are multi-faceted and multi-talented. Not only is Pike hot from the plate, but also they are hot from the pitching circle. And though the team is just a few weeks into the season, the head coach said every player has found her role within the team and has stepped up.

“We have different pitchers who are able to throw the ball really well,” Park said. “Our defense works together really solid and communicates well on the field. We are only in our third or fourth week this season, but we have played a lot of games already.”

One of the many reasons Park is pleased that her team has begun the 2015 season so well is because of the depth that needed to be replaced from last year’s roster.

Pike is without several key seniors from last year’s squad, but Park is glad to see other players stepping into the necessary leadership roles on the field.

It’s for that very reason that Park knew form the start that her team might be able to accomplish something special in 2015.

“I hate to say that I expected it (success this year), but I knew we would have a strong team this year,” Park said. “We lost a lot of players last year, but our upperclassman have played really well.”

Within the team, there have been several players with stellar statistical years thus far.

Pike’s Sam Yarbrough has put together quite the year from both the plate and the mound.

Against Escambia Academy on Tuesday, Yarbrough went 2-for-2 with four RBIs and a triple in the Lady Patriots’ 16-1 win.

And against Northside one day before, Yarbrough fanned 12 batters in a 13-1 win.

Bailey Rushing has also been a force from the mound, striking out 11 batters on Feb. 26 against Northside and 10 against Lee Scott on Feb. 9.

“Bailey and Sam are kind of my main two pitchers and both of them bring a lot as a pitching staff to the team,” Park said. “They throw the ball well and they place the ball well. Bailey uses a good off speed pitch, too.”

But no matter how impressive the statistics are or how dominant the Lady Patriots are early in the season, the end goal still remains the same for Park and the Pike softball team — win big in May.

And as long as her team keeps up its hot start to the year, Park said she expects the Lady Patriots to make waves in the postseason.

“If they (the team) keep playing like they have been the last couple weeks and everybody stays on, I really think we can do something at our state tournament in May,” Park said. “That’s what I want from them and I know that’s what they want too.”