Van Far’s Lady Indians softball team is making tracks, thanks to the wise council of their chief, Wes Rowden.
Coach Rowden has coached for over 30 years and is well aware of what needs to be done to build a winning team.
Even though two players graduated, the 21 Lady Indians on the roster consists of five experienced seniors. Last season, the Lady Indians took a consolation victory at the EMO conference tournament by beating Clopton, but was duped by the Louisiana Lady Bulldogs in the first round of the Class 2, District 11 tournament.
When asked what the his goal for the season was, Rowden stated, “To improve on last years record, be more competitive and go farther in the district.”
In order to improve and go farther, Coach Rowden will have to fill a couple of vacancies on the team. One of which is at the position of pitcher.
While Senior Payton Willis will be one of the team’s pitchers, Rowden is looking to find a second pitcher to back her up. Willis’ relief could possibly come in the form of Freshman Madison Baumbach.
“One key is that pitching wise, we don’t want to walk a lot of people. Consistency on the mound is important to be competitive. But, overall I think our defense will be strong.” Rowden said.
With a record of 6-15 last season, the Lady Indians are hoping to improve offensively by stranding fewer runners in scoring position.
Senior Haven Atkinson and Sophomore Madison Orr possess great speed while Senior Brooke Johnson provides some hitting power. Fellow Senior Melani Hamlett got a lot of extra base hits with doubles last season and is expected to a big contributor this season. Hamlett received All-Conference 2nd Team and All District honors in 2012. Overall, Rowden thinks that the Lady Indians will be solid offensively as well.
“If we can put the ball in play more and not strike out, be more patient and have a better plan when we hit, good things can happen.” Rowden added.
For the season opener, the Lady Indians will be traveling to Mokane August 28 to play the South Callaway Lady Bulldogs.