The Duncan Banner
It’s a new season for the Duncan softball team, but the defeat that ended its 2012 campaign still rings true in the minds of the Lady Demons more experienced players.
After falling 10-0 to eventual state champion Grove in the first round of the Class 5A State playoffs last fall, the plan is to do something that Duncan has made a habit of in recent seasons: get back to the state tournament.
“My expectations are to definitely get back to the state tournament and I think there’s a good chance we can be even better than we were a year ago,” Lady Demons head coach Robert Cowan said. “We have some freshmen coming in who can be impact players immediately. I’d like to think we can win 30 games this year.”
Duncan will have big shoes to fill at the plate, with former Lady Demons stars Courtney Moore and Rachel Cooper graduating in May. Cooper provided speed on the bases for Duncan all season with 27 stolen bases while batting .415 last year, while Moore gave the team power with eight home runs, 43 RBI and a .548 batting average. The pair will continue to share the diamond in 2013 after each signing to play for Rose State.
Following an outstanding sophomore season that included 11 home runs, junior catcher Berkley Faulker will hope to fill that void with more success at the plate in 2013.
With six seniors, two juniors, six sophomores and nine incoming freshman, the Lady Demons will enter 2013 with a strong blend of expeirence. Its pitching staff features two players in opposite phases of their careers, with senior Autumn Parker and freshman Karina Revis slated to take the mound this season.
“A big goal for me is to get back to the state tournament, because we got a taste of that last year and had it taken away real fast,” Parker said. “We have to continue on from what we did last year, step up and even though we’re a young team fight to get back there.”
It may be Revis’ first season, but the expectations are for her to start right away after a full summer on the diamond with AAU and ASA teams.
“The players have been so welcoming and it’s exciting to know I could play right away as a freshman,” Revis said. “I feel like I know what to expect and am well prepared.”
Challenges awaiting the team including a trip to Colorado for a tournament against the state’s Class 6A schools and district rivals Chickasha and Lawton Macarthur.
“Chickasha won the district last year and they have almost all their players coming back, so they’re going to be a tough team to beat,” Cowan said. “We had a couple close victories againt Macarthur, so they’re another team that could do well this year.”
Fresh off a 24-13 record in 2012, the Lady Demons will bring many of the same players who helped them achieve that record in the infield. Senior utility player Kortney Brown will start in a handful of spots, while Jenny Rather will start at first base for the fourth straight season. One newcomer to the group will be Kennedy Stewart, a freshman who Cowan expects to get significant playing time in her first year. After moving from Lawton, sophomore shortstop KK Williams looks to be in the mix as well.
“If we can keep up defensively, and put on an offensive effort like we did during regionals last year, we’ll be right back where we want to be,” Brown said. “Our two pitchers will contribute a ton and our infield will be pretty solid defensively.”
The Lady Demons will take the field next Thursday and Friday for the Duncan Festival and compete in the Varsity/Alumni Game Saturday before kicking off their regular season at Noble on August 13.