The Whiteoak Lady Wildcats finished the 2018 season with a 5-14 overall record and were 4-9 in Southern Hills Athletic Conference play but Lady Wildcats varsity Softball Head Coach Mike Ames thinks the team is ready to improve both of those records in his second year as the head coach in 2019.
“Last year was kind of feeling our way through it and we had a young team,” said Ames. “This year I think I have all of the pieces it is just a matter of putting them in play.”
Sydnie Raines is a key member of the program that returns for her Senior season and Raines has stepped up in center field for the Lady Wildcats in practice so far according to Ames.
“Raines has really stepped up and done a nice job for us in centerfield,” said Ames. “She is one of our team captains.”
Ames pointed to Brooklyn Gross, Ann Ames, Chandra Hill and Emmy Hawkins as newcomers to the team that he expects to play a role in 2019.
“All four of those kids have really stepped up and done a nice job,” said Ames. “They are players that I can play anywhere. There are multiple kids that I can put in multiple spots.”
“A prime example is Senior Katie Ames who can play short stop, third base and catch,” Ames told The Times-Gazette. “Some of these players I didn’t get to play them where I wanted to last year for the simple fact of having to fill holes.”
That will not be the case in 2019 according to Ames, “This year we have enough players and we have enough good batters that we are going to be pretty strong and pretty uniform from top to bottom. We are not going to have a hole this year. We have nine that can hit the call and we have nine that can make plays.”
“We are going to be tough,” said Ames. “I think we are going to grow as the season gets longer. Last year we couldn’t play a lot of small ball. This year we have a lot of young girls that are small and fast. We are going to do some slap hitting and bunting is going to be big in our program.”
“The girls have stepped up and taken their batting practices very serious,” Ames said. “Thanks to Coach Veidt and the boys we have the new batting facility which has been extremely beneficial for us this year.”
Ryan Applegate is the Sports Editor for The Times-Gazette. Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.