Lady Bulldogs look to compete

Published 12:02 am Thursday, February 21, 2013

Andalusia’s Aiteria Green runs through a base-running drill Wednesday afternoon at practice. |                               Andrew Garner/Star-News

Andalusia’s Aiteria Green runs through a base-running drill Wednesday afternoon at practice. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Andalusia’s softball team is tired of practicing.

The Lady Bulldogs don’t have to wait any longer as they start their 2013 campaign today at Class 6A Enterprise.

AHS coach Brad Garner said expectations from the team and coaches are high this season.

“Talking with the girls, we feel like we have an area we can compete in,” Garner said. “I don’t know if we’ve sat down and labeled our team goals, but I think we always feel the regional tournament would be something that we think is within our grasp.”

The Class 4A South Regional Tournament is played at the Sportsplex in Gulf Shores from May 10-11.

This season, AHS will compete in Class 4A, Area 2 with Hillcrest-Evergreen, Wilcox Central and Monroe County.

At the area tournament in Headland last season, the Lady Bulldogs finished their season after a late rally in the final innings of play against the Lady Rams.

Garner said the experience left a bitter taste in the girls’ mouths, and they learned a lot from it.

“The way we lost it, I think hurt,” he said. “When Abbie (Young) hit the home run to tie it up in the top of the seventh, and then we give up one run — it was kind like during the earlier games of the tournament where we realized what it takes to win and compete. In those tough games we didn’t get it done. It’s like we just figured something out and decided to not get it done.”

Garner said he doesn’t know much about softball teams in the western part of the state, but feels that his schedule is decent enough to where his girls will only get better.

“We play Enterprise (today),” he said. “Then, we Elba. Although they are 2A, (EHS) is a very good program, which is an addition from last year.

“Of course, we’ll play Pleasant Home down the road. They are on of the toughest 1A teams around,” he said. “We play Straughn home and away, and we’re playing in their tournament. Then, we’re in the same bracket for both of our tournaments here.”

Andalusia has a prominent junior class with Andi Hughes, Emily Terry, Abbie Young, Hannah Burnette and Arteria Green.

This year’s seniors are Maggie Lambert, Olivia Dixon, Pierre Johnson and Kanisha Johnson.

Sophomores are Bre Dixon, Haley Snider and Shelby Nixon.

Garner said he has five girls who can pitch on the team, and who is on the mound during the game will determine where everybody is situated on the field.

“I’m not hesitant about putting any of them on the mound at any time,” he said. “They’re also pretty good position players.”

First pitch today is slated for 4:30 p.m. at Enterprise.