Panthers hope to bolster funds, chemistry this weekend

Published 9:28am Thursday, April 4, 2013

By GRIFFIN PRITCHARD
Sports Editor

Elmore County High softball coach Wilbur Terrell hopes his squad finds its mojo during this weekend’s third annual Elmore County High School Softball Invitational.
“Our team chemistry has been on and off,” said Terrell. “We’ve been up and down this season. We’ll play in a tournament on Friday and Saturday and look good and then lose a game we shouldn’t.”
The Lady Panthers, who have been idle for the past 14 days to the state’s graduation exam and spring break, returned to the diamond Monday, in a winning effort over Dallas County.
Kaitlyn McCurdy picked up the win while Chelsea Fomby earned the save.
The break gave Fomby a chance to recuperate from an arm injury that temporarily put her on the shelf.
Terrell and the Lady Panthers are going to need both McCurdy and Fomby this weekend as they welcome Stanhope Elmore, LAMP and Marbury to Eclectic.
“All of those are pretty decent teams,” said Terrell.
For Terrell, hosting a tournament brings with it an economic shot in the arm too.
“Financially this really helps us out,” said Terrell. “With gas being so high and the cost of field maintenance and having to pay umpires – this helps fund that. And now we’re starting to have to pay our own water and electrical expenses. It’s getting tough, almost impossible to have a program.”
Entry fees and admission help though.
The tournament is going to be $6 per day. Two-day passes will be available for $10.
“We’re blessed to have two fields, but we really need lights on the second one,” said Terrell.
“That’s why we had to cancel the junior varsity tournament, no lights on that field.”
The two-day tournament will be broken into three pools: A (Elmore County, Reeltown and Horseshoe Bend); B (Central-Coosa, Stanhope Elmore and LAMP) and C (Marbury, Tallassee and Jeff Davis) with games starting at 3 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday.
Elimination play starts Saturday afternoon at 12:30.
For Elmore County, playing a bunch of games in a short time will better prepare them for the April crush of area games.
“I compare us to blue collar workers,” said Terrell. “We have to go out there and work hard each time. No one is going to give us anything and nor is it going to come easy for us. It takes every girl on our roster to make us click.”
Monday’s game is an example as McCurdy and Olivia Royal fueled the offense.
In the final month of play the Lady Panthers (1-1 in area play) are going to face Holtville (twice) Tallassee (twice), Childersburg (once) and Dallas County (once) before going into the area tournament.

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