Categorized | Sports

On the job training for Lady Trojans

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

The Millington Lady Trojans finally took the field this past week taking on teams like ECS, Germantown and Briarcrest giving their young pitching staff a chance to get in some work.

The Millington Lady Trojans finally took the field this past week taking on teams like ECS, Germantown and Briarcrest giving their young pitching staff a chance to get in some work.

 

EADS — High school softball’s official opening week in Tennessee was two and half weeks ago. But for the Millington Lady Trojans game No. 1 took place March 25 against ECS.

Toward the end of the week, Rick Hearn’s Lady Trojans had a win over the Germantown Lady Red Devils and had a chance to take on the Briarcrest Lady Saints.

Leaving a dry Lady Saints Field on a comfortable evening, Hearn saw positives after his team’s 12-1 loss to Briarcrest.

“Field conditions were so bad that we couldn’t play,” Hearn said. “So we were way behind than we normally are because of that. And we have inexperience on that team. But we’ve got a chance to play three times this week. The last few days have been good days of work. We’ve got a lot done this week.

“We’ve got our three pitchers some work,” he added. “Rebecca didn’t pitch today because she pitched seven innings against Germantown. We beat Germantown. I didn’t feel like it was worth the risk pitching her today because her arm was hurting. Our two young pitchers pitched today and did a good job. They got their feet wet.”

Millington freshman Ally Hall worked a few innings and junior Alex Ballard saw some time in the circle. As the duo gains experience, Hearn will lean on senior Rebecca Smart to use her knowledge of the game and strong arm to pitch league games.

Smart is in her first year of pitching, playing the outfield for Millington last year.

“Time has necessitated it this year,” Hearn noted. “We don’t have a very deep pitching staff. We don’t have a whole lot of experience.”

While the pitchers are developing on the varsity level, the Millington lineup has shown it’s experience at the plate.

“We were swinging the bats well early,” Hearn said. “Daija Brunson and Ariel Trice have been swinging the bats really well. And Pauline has been playing real well especially with slapping. And Casey has been doing a good job with catching and slapping so far.”

Pauline Pagulayan and Casey Tarwater are picking up the void left by senior Katlyn Dupree. While the Lady Trojans were playing their first game at ECS, Dupree was undergoing knee surgery.

“That’s big, you just can’t replace her,” Hearn said. “She’s was playing well and her arm was strong enough to play shortstop this year. It’s just a blow you can’t really recover from. So, we’re going to do our best to recover. It’s a big loss leadershipwise and skillwise”

Because of the injury, Hearn had to make some moves in the lineup and in the field.

“It kind of changed our whole scheme infieldwise,” he noted. “We had to move things around. We’re playing Ariel at short. She’s going to do a fine job.

“That’s the way things happen in sports,” Hearn continued. “We’re not going to look back. Katlyn feels bad and she’s such a fine player. One of the premiere slappers in the area. But life goes on and we have to keep playing.”

Hearn said tough games await the Lady Trojans against foes like Munford, Arlington, Bartlett and Bolton. He’s limited the tournament schedule this season with the team’s pitching situation but if the staff and Smart continue to progress, the Lady Trojans will be competitive.

“She’ll give us a chance as long as she stays ahead of the hitter and throws strikes,” he concluded.

 

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