Coaches Amanda Grant and Ashley Bennett are happy their Adair County 10U all-star softball team received a bye in the first round of this weekend’s district tournament. The field is loaded, and they are eager to accept any possible advantage.
But Bennett and Grant know, even with the bye, the road to the title will be difficult. Adair County will need to be ready to play each and every game.
“This group is really young, but they’ve improved so much,” Grant said. “I think our strength is on defense.”
The district tournament will run June 18-23 at the middle school field next to Somerset Community College on Hwy. 80 in Russell Springs. Adair County will play Sunday at 1 p.m. against the winner of the first-round game between Marion County and Trace Creek. Other teams in the tournament include: Russell County, Washington County and Nelson County.
“We have tried to focus on one part of the game at each practice,” Bennett said. “We worked on fielding one night and we told them if they didn’t catch it, they would have to start running. Another night we did batting. We’re taking it a little slower so that we can get a good look at what we have to work on.”
The 10U roster includes: Trinity Hancock, Kaylence Bennett, Josie Cox, Ila Loy, Laramie Baldwin, Roxie Booth, Cadence Booth, Raegen Petty, Rory Bragg and Camdyn Dubree.
“Our bench is pretty limited, but the good thing is we have several players that can play different positions and that’s helps out a lot,” Grant said. “Wherever we’ve needed help at do far, we’ve been able to put someone in.
“I really feel good about where we’re at right now, a few days away from the tournament.”
Cox will probably get the call at third base with Loy playing short when she is not pitching. Kaylence Bennett, who can probably also pitch if needed, will probably play second and Booth should get the nod at first base. Hancock will do the catching.
The outfield could include Petty, Marr, Jewell, Booth or Baldwin. All have experience and have been showing good signs in practice.
“That’s a solid infield, all around,” Bennett said. “It is a pretty good defensive outfield, if they work with what they’ve been taught, to back each other up. This group plays nothing but the outfield, so they know their positions.”
A victory in the district tournament this week will put Adair County in the state tournament at North Oldham in Goshen, tentatively scheduled for July 9.
“We just need to limit our errors and play with confidence,” Grant said. “We’re as good as anybody when we play like we’re capable of.”