Tomorrow will be the official start of the 2010 fast pitch softball season for the Oak Hill Academy Lady Raiders.
In 2009, the girls were runners-up in their district, but this year, they are hoping their depth can take them to a district title.
“I’ve got four girls who can play every position for me,” said Oak Hill head coach Marion Bratton.
Bratton says that last season’s injuries allowed some girls who normally would not have played to get experience, and that has given the team depth in 2010.
“It means a lot if somebody goes down,” Bratton says. “It gives you some options.”
Bratton says that his team is very talented, and that most of his girls can play more than one position.
“The majority of the girls can double up as an infielder-outfielder or pitcher-infielder,” Bratton said.
In 2009, Bratton said that Paige Dawkins and Mary Helon Hays went down with injuries, which took a lot of sting out of the middle of their lineup.
“When they were sophomores, they had more RBI between them then we had as a team,” Bratton said.
According to Bratton, Dawkins and Hays combined for around 50 RBI two years ago. Without them in the lineup in 2009, the team had around 46.
“It’s good to have them back,” he said.
Bratton has four seniors in all this year. Hays, Dawkins, Anne Stevens and Abby Falkner will be the leaders on the team.
Pitching wise, Bratton will have a one-two punch with Mamie Allen and Megan Ellis at the front.
“We have young pitching,” Bratton said. He added that the girls got a lot of experience on the mound last year.
Bratton says that his defense is going to be solid as well.
“We’re going to be very good if we can make all the routine plays,” he said.
Bratton said that at least six games in 2009 were lost by one or more run. He’s hoping to turn that around the other way this year. He hopes to do that with the aid of his bench.
“I can see using 12 girls on a regular basis in an A-Game,” he said. “I can DH the hot hitter and put in the best defensive person in the field.”
Bratton says it should be an exciting season, with a lot of good competition in the district.
“We’re as good as anyone in our conference if we want to be,” he said.