George Rogers Clark softball coach Matt Puckett likes the way his team is playing going into Thursday’s key 40th District game at Montgomery County.
“(The players) have stepped up tremendously,” he said. “They know now that they can get that big hit, and that’s what we’re trying to emphasize to them.
“The singles and doubles to start off an inning are great, but when you have that runner on second and third with two outs and two strikes, you need that person to step up and we’re starting to get performances from the girls. They have confidence now and they know they can hit in that situation. That’s really what’s going to be the icebreaker for this team.”
Clark’s top performers at the plate this season have been seniors Shamy Williams, Caitlin Collins and Amy Haggard, along with Kolbi Mitchell, Rebecca Strange and Kelsey May. However, Williams has been carrying the bulk of the load on offense.
“Shamy Williams is absolutely lighting it on fire,” Puckett said. “She’s hitting the ball well. We had a hit-and-run on (Monday) and she executed it perfectly.”
Since returning from spring break, the Cards have played just three games, including Tuesday’s 3-2 triumph at Estill County. One regular-season game and an appearance in the Capital City Classic were rained out last week.
To make up for the lack of games last week, the Lady Cards took on Madison Central and posted a 4-1 win over the Lady Indians Monday at Cardinal Heights.
In the Lady Cards’ previous district game, Clark survived a close call with a 2-1 victory over Bourbon County last week at Cardinal Heights. Puckett counted the Lady Colonels as one of the three contenders who will compete for the district title.
“In the past, (Bourbon County) is a team that has been strong, but this year, their level of game has stepped up to the next notch. It’s a three-way race in the district, and unfortunately, the three best teams in the (10th) Region in my opinion are in our district, with Bourbon, Clark and Montgomery.”
Puckett said Thursday’s game against the Lady Indians will be a table-setter for his team, which is undefeated in the district.
“If we can beat them at their place, we would be 3-0 in the district,” he said. “We would have beaten every team once. We would be in pretty good shape as far as knowing what we need to do to win out and get the No. 1 seed. It’s not a do-or-die game, but it’s one that you want to put under your belt, because you can get a good win in a hostile environment.”
Clark 3, Estill County 2
The Lady Cardinals broke a 2-2 tie with a run in the fifth inning to beat the Lady Engineers in Irvine.
Haggard slapped a single and a triple, while Rebecca Strange laced a single and a double to pace the Lady Cards. Caitlin Collins, Ali Martin and Carrie Irvin each had a single.
May fanned two batters in the first six innings and Haggard struck out two batters in the seventh inning. May also got the win over Madison Central.