Several months have passed since the last regular season game in Duncan for softball, but the Lady Demons softball team, ready or not, start the season on Monday with a district double header.
In 2018, the first year led by Coach Jeremy Bates, the Lady Demons were one game away from the Class 5A State Tournament in front of their home crowd and now the season will open up on that same field.
Thursday and Friday the Duncan softball team has been hosting their own scrimmage festival and will have the alumni game Saturday. Bates hopes this team is ready for the season.
“We have tried to get started early, we started the first day we could start practicing on July 15 and we made sure to try and get everyone there,” Bates said. “We are trying to make sure we are working on fundamentals and trying to build from the ground up. These girls haven’t had much field time so that is what we are trying to focus on.”
This past week has been busy as they played games on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to get ready and Bates has noticed the team get better in each and every game.
The Lady Demons will rely on a trio of returning starters in Holly Hill, Alyssa Childers and Kira Pickerell to lead the way.
“We are just trying to get started and get going in the right way so we are playing a doubleheader against Santa Fe South,” Bates said. “We want to go out there and do the little things right and minimize big innings. That’s what I told the girls yesterday, if we can minimize big innings we can stay in any game and play with anybody. If we make errors and walks we are giving away free bases that we can’t afford to do. We just need to keep working towards that and have one thing in mind and that is give full effort and keep going.”
Hill will most likely start at either catcher or third base and according to Bates is one of the strong hitters that will be batting in the middle of the lineup.
Bates also said that Childers has worked hard as this year and all off season by taking pitching lessons and getting better at hitting her locations.
The other pitcher for the Lady Demons will be KK Miller and Bates said both offensively and defensively will be key and when not in the circle she will play short stop on the field.
Lady Demons will begin their season at 5 p.m. Monday Aug. 12 with the second game to follow right after and Bates knows the first couple of weeks of the schedule will be grueling but worth it.
“We got a grind and yesterday we played two, today we play two and tomorrow we play two and then have the Alumni game on Saturday, then we have two varsity games on Monday, then a varsity/JV on Tuesday and Thursday and a tournament on Friday and Saturday,” Bates said. “We have 14 games or so the next 10 days and it is going to be a grind for them and it is going to be staying focused while playing one game at a time. We also need to stay hydrated, stay out of the heat as much as we can and taking care of our bodies to keep everyone healthy.”