Inexperienced Lady Bulldogs grow up in 2017
Published 3:00 am Tuesday, May 9, 2017
The Pike County Lady Bulldogs concluded their season with a loss to Houston Academy in their area tournament late Friday night.
The Bulldogs kicked off the tournament with a convincing 15-0 win over Daleville Friday afternoon on the back Senkethia Thompson’s complete game shutout.
“That game could not have gone better for us,” said Bulldogs head coach Fawn Sims. “Kiki pitched and only threw about 40 pitches in the game. It was an errorless ball game. The girls showed an energy that I have been dying to see.”
Another highlight of the game occurred when Aubrey Maulden hit her first career home run.
The Bulldogs fell in their next two games against host Providence Christian and Houston Academy to close out their 2017 season.
“I can’t speak enough about Providence’s program. They are just a well coached, solid ball team,” Sims said. “We made some mistakes in that ballgame (to Houston Academy). We gave up one really big inning in the first. After that we played solid defense. My girls showed that they have a lot of fight in them.”
That fighting spirit the Bulldogs showed on Friday was something that Sims has seen in her team all season long. Despite winning three games, the young and mostly inexperienced Bulldogs never quit.
“They fought hard and they showed great attitude the way that I have asked them to all season,” Sims said. “These girls get a long so well and it was great to see. They are the definition of a team and no wins or loses can define the relationship among teammates.”
The Bulldogs entered the season with a few players that have experience playing softball. That led to growing pains for Pike County this past season.
“We knew we were going to have our challenges before the season started,” Sims said. “Nothing was a huge surprise to us. In a lot of the games we lost this year, it was us beating ourselves. As the season went along we did some growing, but we have a lot of work to do.
The Bulldogs do have a young team and Sims hopes all her players will come back and make an effort to continue to grow the program at Pike County.
“I have pumped the phrase process into them so much,” Sims said. “We have to build from the ground up and have the right foundation. The biggest thing I preached to them is that we need to stick together. I want to see everyone come back next year. My biggest goal is to have them all come back and be returners.”
One player that will be looked upon will be Thompson, who will be a rising junior on the mound. Thompson, who was thrown into the fire early in the season took major strides on the mound.
“When Aubrey got hurt, it’s not easy to know that you’re the only go to arm,” Sims said. “She was the person to start the game and she is the person who is going to finish games. She took the responsibility and did everything she could for her team.”
The Bulldogs will hold play dates throughout the summer and Sims hopes to see improvement from her defense.
“We made some changes and move people around and it made a difference,” Sims said. “Our mistakes weren’t physical they were mental. We want to throw them into situations and that is the good thing about the summer dates.”