Coach Trudy York is looking at good things from her Elsberry High School softball team.
“It’s been a while since we’ve seen this many kids, but outside of quantity we also have some great quality,” said York.
One person she is looking to help lead the pitching squad is Becca Almus, who helped lead the Lady Indians to a district win last
Front row (from left): Hannah Arne, Taylor Barber, Megan Henry, Julia Vaughn Angel Henke. Middle row: Olivia Brown, Sabrina Pruitt, Tanner Bencomo, Madison Cleveland. Back row: Brea Johnson, Coach Trudy Bull, Becca Almus, Fleicia Pruitt, Kaity Grills, Brittni Hagemeier, Assistant Coach Hector Bencomo and Cailee Vitro.
season. Along with Felicia “Flee” Pruitt, York said the pitching squad is looking top notch.
“Now we know Becca is good, as is Flee, but they make mistakes sometimes, rare, but sometimes. So we are going to be looking on our fielders to step up and play hard this season,” explained York.
Overall, she said they have a great mix of power and speed. With girls who can run fast, such as Tanner Bencomo and Pruitt, there are the power hitters like Madison Cleveland and Brittani Hagemeier.
“I think Madison is going to be a beast this year and we all know what Brittani can do,” said York. “Olivia Brown has power, Brea Johnson has power and even Becca has power, so we can hit the ball.”
Other players include Angel Henke, Cailee Vitro, Taylor Barber, Megan Henry, Kaity Grills, Sabrina Pruitt and Julia Vaughn
“We talked about how we’re going to play some small ball and be more aggressive,” said York. “We are going to do everything we can to put the pressure on the other team this year. Now we may run into an out or two, but we’re going to make them make plays on us and take those extra bases when we can.”
It would seem as though Palmyra may not be the team to watch this season, and as far as York is concerned, the Lady Indians are a much better team this season.
“They always seem to be the hardest for my girls, I don’t know why but they are,” said York.
According to York, the tough teams for them this year, but not impossible to beat, will be North Callaway. However, she added that if they play like she knows they can they will beat anybody.
“I hate to put that on these younger kids, but these girls have been playing together since they were freshman,” said York. “The girls who are starting now were starting as freshman for me. Now I’m not saying we’re going to go to state, because I wouldn’t dare jinx them like that. So our goal right now is to win our first game and go from there.”
York added that practices have been more of a hit the ground running kind of thing, with Lady Indians Assistant Coach and Junior Varsity Head Coach Hector Bencomo working with the younger players on the fundamentals.
“We are going to force the other team to make the plays and play the pressure,” said York.
Pressure is something York said can even be seen in their practice drills. Not only how to work under it but how to work with it.
Surprisingly, York mentioned that she doesn’t see any real challenges for her team this year, as she is extremely impressed with the upper classman.
York added by saying she doesn’t see selfishness amongst her girls and she is proud to see how far they have come in maturity and growth.
The Lady Indians will play their first game away at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 29 against the Louisiana Lady Bulldogs.
Article courtesy of The Elsberry Democrat.