Bulldogs advance to regionals

Published 8:15 pm Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Pike County head softball coach Rebecca Kidd entered her first year as head coach with lofty goals, including advancing to regionals, winning area tournaments and advancing to state tournaments.

The Bulldogs accomplished their first goal on Monday evening when they won a spot in next week’s regional tournament in Oxford.

The Bulldogs entered the tournament as the number two seed after they finished the regular season with a 1-2 area record.

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The Bulldogs opened the tournament with a dominating 20-0 win over three-seeded Bullock County. In the winner’s bracket game against Pike Road, the Bulldogs fell 17-0. The Lady Bulldogs officially clinched a spot in the regional tournament with another dominating 16-1 win over Bullock County. The Bulldogs ended their run in area tournament with a loss to Pike Road in the championship.

“It’s very exciting,” Kidd said. “We have lost players due to injuries and we are extremely young. To be able to make this is a great thing for these girls.”

The Lady Bulldogs entered the season as young softball team. Their roster featured a starting seventh grader and two starting eighth graders. Their roster remained young throughout the season and was limited late due to injury.

“My infield yesterday (Monday) consisted of two eighth graders, a seventh grader and a ninth grader,” Kidd said. “We basically have over half of our team that will be starting for years to come.”

With the success of the program this season, the Bulldogs already have a taste of what it takes to make it to regionals and because of that, the future looks bright for the Bulldogs.

“They already know how to make it to regionals,” Kidd said. “They know what it feels like, so they are going to keep pushing the young ones to keep getting better every year.”

Kidd sent senior Senkeithia Thompson to the mound in the critical game that sent the Bulldogs into regionals on Monday, but the message of the game’s importance went straight to the younger Bulldog players.

“Kiki pitched an amazing game in all three games, but I told those younger girls that this is your team,” Kidd said. “My younger girls showed up yesterday. They showed up and really showed out.”

The Bulldogs will have over a week to get back to work before attempting to accomplish their next goal of advancing out of regionals. During the week off, the Bulldogs will address their defense.

“We are just going to keep focusing on our defense,” Kidd said. “I had my seventh grader who has been our starting catcher play shortstop and it was a position she has never played. We are going to focus on fixing our holes in our defense to get ready for regionals. I think our bats will be there. We started out hitting well early in the season and we were able to hit really well yesterday. We are just going to focus on the holes in our defense and get everybody in the best position to be successful.”