Back to work

Published 12:02 am Thursday, March 7, 2013

Andalusia’s Hannah Burnette pitches at an earlier practice this season. |                                                                           File photo

Andalusia’s Hannah Burnette pitches at an earlier practice this season. | File photo

Andalusia is ready to get back to business.

After a long layoff between games, the Lady Bulldogs are excited to get back to some softball action today when they host rival Straughn.

AHS hasn’t played a game since Thurs., Feb. 21, in its season opener against Enterprise in a road contest. The Lady Bulldogs lost the game 6-1.

The long layoff was due to scheduling issues with other teams. Andalusia was slated to play Elba last week, but had to postpone because the Lady Tigers were competing in the state basketball tournament.

“It’s almost like it’s been another preseason since we played Enterprise,” AHS coach Brad Garner said.

Once today’s game wraps against SHS, AHS will face Hillcrest-Evergreen tomorrow in its first area game.

Then on Saturday, the Lady Bulldogs will host their annual high school softball tournament at the Dwight Mikel Sports Complex.

Andalusia will play in pool play starting at 9 a.m. in Field No. 3 against Trinity Presbyterian. Trinity then will face Straughn at 10:30 a.m. in the second game of pool play, and AHS will face SHS at noon in the final game of pool play.

In Pool A, Opp will face Pike County; PCHS will play Pleasant Home; and PHS will face Opp in pool play at the same times on Field No. 1. There is a 75-minute time limit for games in pool play.

Single elimination play will start at 2 p.m. on Fields No. 1 and 2. The third place finisher from each pool will play the second place finisher from the other pool.

The first-place finishers from each pool advance to the semifinals, which will start at 3:30 p.m. The championship is slated to be at 5:30.

In the next five days, including today and Monday’s game against Pleasant Home, AHS will compete in close to eight ball games.

Garner said he thinks the girls are ready for the challenge.

“The girls are ready to play games more than they are practicing,” he said. “You do have to play games to get better, too. I think they’re excited to get back started. Other than Saturday, it’s supposed to be beautiful. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get some good games in these next few days.”

Andalusia’s lucky to have its first game against Straughn today, Garner said.

“Win or lose, that’s going to be some good competition,” he said. “We’re going to have to play well to beat them. I’m glad we’ll at least get that one in before our first area game. Straughn’s going to be real disciplined and well coached.”

The girls are going to have to defend well on the field and play good offense to add wins to the column, the AHS coach said.

As far as the make-up game against Elba, Garner said the game has been rescheduled and will be played on a later date.

At Wednesday’s practice, the Lady Bulldogs quickly went to work to get ready for the next five days.

To get ready for the start of practice, AHS junior Andi Hughes drew a batter’s box and then waited for Hannah Burnette to deliver the first pitch.

Burnette throws and Hughes connects for the first of what may be many hits to come in the days that lie ahead.

First pitch today against Straughn is slated for 4 p.m.