Lady Bobcats ready for South Regional

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, May 11, 2016

0511-spt-OppThe Opp Lady Bobcats (16-12-2) knocked of T.R. Miller for the Class 3A, Area 2 title and now prepare for Class 3A South Regional softball tournament in Gulf Shores on Friday.

“This has been one of the hardest working teams that I’ve ever coach,” Lady Bobcats head coach Jimmy Reeves said. “They are young and hungry, and now we are starting to see that hard work pay off.”

The Lady Bobcats have continued to improve as the season has progressed, Reeves said.

“We really are getting better,” Reeves said. “We didn’t have a great start, but I think we are a fairly decent team right now.”

Reeves said that one part that has really progressed well has been the Lady Bobcat pitchers.

“I’ve got three young pitchers that have really come a long way this year,” Reeves said. “Graci Kidd is a 10th grader and she has been our workhorse this year. She has really been big for us. Then we have Graceanne Spears who is an eighth grader. We like to use her to close out games because she is out best fielding pitcher. Our other pitcher is Cassidy Adams and she has done a great job when we have called upon her. She is just a ninth grader, so we have three girls that have limitless potential.”

Offensively, Reeves said the whole lineup has done well, but the top half has really been strong all year.

“Our top five batters have been great this year,” Reeves said. “We have a few slappers at the top of the lineup and then three girls behind them that have done a great job driving in runs all season.”

Baliee Boyd has been the leadoff hitter for the Lady Bobcats and has hit over .400 this season.

Ariyon Hightower hits in the three-hole and leads the Lady Bobcats with five home runs and 26 RBIs.

The Lady Bobcats will open up play at the South Regional in Gulf Shores on Friday at 1:30 p.m., against Slocomb.

“They are good team,” Reeves said. “They have probably the best pitcher in the state. We played them at the end of the season, and managed just one hit off her. We are going to have to put the ball in the play and keep pressure on their defense. It’s a tough draw, but I really expect good things from this team. Winning the area tournament was a big thing for us, so we are already seeing big things from them.”

Reeves said that the Lady Bobcats would be underdogs going into the Regional, but also knows they will be able to compete with anyone.

“If you ranked the eight teams in our (Class 3A South Region) bracket, we would probably be in the bottom half,” Reeves said. “If we just do what we know we can do, we can play with any team there. That’s one thing about this group, even when you lose you hold your head up because you know they gave it their best effort. That’s really what has made this team so competitive and such a joy to coach.”