The East Georgia State College Lady Bobcats were back in action after almost seven months of not seeing the softball diamond for scrimmages or games. This past weekend the team was in Florence and Union, South Carolina.
The Bobcats came out of the gate most impressive with a 10 to 1 victory over USC Union in game one scrimmage on Saturday. The Bobcats were led by Alana Hooks, who would score three runs, and go two for two at the plate. McKenzie Wilkerson hit a three-run blast over the center field wall to help the Bobcat cause and lead them to a 10 to 1 victory.
Coach Chuck Wimberly sent freshman Britnay Foster to the mound. She pitched two scoreless innings for the Bobcats, followed by Madison Poole and Madison Bussell, who combined, would allow just two hits and one run on the day.
After game one, Head Coach Chuck Wimberly stated, “It’s not bad for only four days of practice! We played really well on the field with outstanding plays by Dani Wells, Taylor Frye and Sierra Taylor. That truly helps build the confidence of our pitchers and pitching staff seeing diving plays and stops. I was most impressed with the play behind the plate from McKenzie Wilkerson, who allowed no pass balls and threw out runners trying to steal.”
Game two would see the Bobcats with an entirely new group of freshmen taking the field for their first action at the collegiate level. The Lady Bobcats would give up three runs in the first and second innings before settling in. They would hold Florence to no runs and no hits for five complete innings. Payten Strickland, Mattie Cash and Josie Spradley all took the mound for the Bobcats in Game two.
“We simply rolled the ball out there and let a bunch of freshmen play and get the nerves out. We have a lot of talent on your team and allowing these freshmen to play in fall will develop into on the field training to see who responds to pressure situations and who is ready for college softball. Many are learning, with several truly shining in their play. It is a lot of fun watching these scrimmages and seeing the players, and what they can bring to the table for our spring,” said Coach Wimberly.
On day two the Bobcats faced off against USC Union in a two-game set. Game one on Sunday, September 27 would see the 14 new recruits from Union battle the Bobcats after falling on Saturday by nine runs to the Bobcats. The game would go back and forth thru five innings, until the Bobcats catcher, McKenzie Wilkerson, would step to the plate and hit a three-run shot to put the Bobcats up 10 to 6. The Bobcats would never look back winning 13 to 8 as a final. At the plate Sierra Taylor, Taylor Morgan, Alana Lee, and Alana Hooks would all have two hit performances to help the Bobcats pick up the win. Britnay Foster allowed one run in two innings of work. Payten Strickland and Madison Bussell pitched the 3rd and 4th innings, with Josie Spradley pitching the 5th thru 7th for the Bobcats to pick up the win.
“It was really nice to be able to use multiple pitchers in key situations to help pick up the victory in game one. I am simply learning who is starters, middle relief, and closures for our team, all while truly having to not pitch anyone more than two to three innings each day,” said Coach Wimberly.
Game two would see a whole new group of Bobcats take the field. The Bobcats were led in game two by Tabithia Mimbs who would go two for two, with two runs scored. Sydney Baker and Maddie Denning would each have multiple hits for the Bobcats who would fall 8 to 5.
On the mound, Madison Poole would get the start with two innings of work, followed by Maddie Cash and Hilarie Jackson, each pitching two innings as well. EGSC freshmen in game two settled in at the plate and looked a lot more confident.
“On the field EGSC kicked it around in the early innings, which led to falling behind, much like Saturday’s game two, which makes you have to work even harder at the plate trying to catch up. We simply need more practice time with this group on the field to be able to calm the nerves of our freshmen when they take the field in the early innings. As for our upperclassmen, we are pretty good, and have a lot of fire power at the plate, and a solid defense behind whomever pitches,” said Coach Wimberly.
The Lady Bobcats next scrimmage will be at home on October 6 at 1 and 3 p.m. vs. USC Salkehatchie.