Neal softball looking to turn fundamentals into wins
By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
Do not get the wrong impression. W.S. Neal Lady Blue Eagles softball coach Angela Carr is concerned about the end result.
That is not her number one priority though.
"We have to learn how to work together as a team," Carr said. "My biggest concern is for us is becoming fundamentally sound. To me, that starts with defense and then pitching. If you don't give up any runs, you're not going to lose. If we can get the fundamentals down, the wins will follow."
Carr, who is the Lady Blue Eagles third coach in as many seasons, inherits a program that won its first ever game last season. W.S. Neal finished up 3-10 under Shane Smothers' direction. Two of those wins came through forfeits.
If W.S. Neal is looking for a leader, Carr said junior catcher Erika Davis is a good place to start.
"Erika is a very vocal leader. She probably talks the most out of all our players on the diamond," Carr said.
Freshman Katie Lowery is getting an early look for the first base job.
"Katie is a pretty solid player. She does a nice job of going for the ball," Carr said.
Senior Brittani Moton has the nod for second base.
"Brittani is improving a lot when it comes to her range and being able to get to balls," Carr said.
The Lady Blue Eagles have some experience at shortstop with senior Brittany Tagudar. Freshman Jessica Lambert could also see some time in that role.
"Brittany has some experience. She does a good job of getting to the ball. Jessica is a very aggressive player," Carr said.
Third base is up for grabs where junior Mattie McClelland and freshman Maria Harris are competing.
"Mattie moves well in the field and she has a good arm. Maria reacts well when the ball is hit," Carr said.
Leftfield belongs to junior Julia Williams in the early going.
"She moves well when the ball comes off the bat," Carr said.
Juniors Amanda Ramirez and Jessica Madden are splitting time in centerfield as well as on the mound.
"When one pitches, the other will be in centerfield. Amanda has a lot of quickness and Jessica has a good arm," Carr said.
Senior Crystal Mealer and sophomore Sara Williamson are the contenders for rightfield.
"Crystal is aggressive. She'll dive for the ball if she has to," Carr said. "Sara is a very hard worker."
Carr indicated she has some variety in her pitchers, Madden and Ramirez. Jessica is righthanded and has more velocity than Amanda, who is lefthanded. It can cause a team some adjustment problems to go from a faster righthander to a slower lefthander during a game," Carr said.
W.S. Neal Lady Blue Eagles Softball Schedule
Feb. 24 J.U. Blacksher Away (Lost 15-0)
Mar. 1 Monroe County Away
Mar. 3 Jay Away
Mar. 7 T.R. Miller Home
Mar. 8 Clarke County Home
Mar. 11 Excel Away
Mar. 15 Northview Away
Mar. 22 Jay Home
Apr. 5 T.R. Miller Away
Apr. 11 Excel Home
Apr. 14 Clarke County Away
Apr. 18 Northview Home
Apr. 21-22 Escambia County Tournament at Flomaton
Apr. 28 Monroe County Home
May 2 J.U. Blacksher Home