Coach Fawn Sims high-fives her Lady Wildcats between innings.
Coach Fawn Sims high-fives her Lady Wildcats between innings.

Edgewood softball readies for state tournament run

Published 12:50pm Thursday, May 2, 2013

Edgewood Academy is hours away from a return trip to the AISA State Softball Tournament – their first berth as a Class A team.

“If we go out and play to our abilities, I think we are going to be fine,” said Fawn Sims, coach of the 20-17 Lady Wildcats.

After striking out at last week’s seed tournament, the Region 1 champion Wildcats will enter Friday’s first round as the No. 4 seed drawing top-seeded Marengo Academy (No. 1 in the final Alabama Sports Writer’s Poll with a 20-1 mark on the year) in the first round. The two will meet Friday at noon.

“I think we are ready,” said Sims. “The girls weren’t happy with the way we ended things (Tuesday). But it was a rough practice. We put them in a bases loaded with no out situation to start with and they had to get out of it. They stayed and worked extra and ended things on a positive note.”

The good vibrations from Tuesday carried over to Wednesday afternoon where senior Channing Thornton led the team in her final practice.

Wiffel Balls and waterguns were required.

“They did all the work and now it’s a chance to relax and focus on our game Friday,” said Sims.

The Lady Wildcats wrapped up the regular season Monday with a split between Class AAA teams Glenwood and Macon-East.

Edgewood lost to Glenwood 3-1, but defeated Macon-East 4-1.

Kelsey Hartley picked up the win despite striking out only three in five innings of work. Thornton was 2-for-3 with an RBI to lead the Lady Wildcats offense. Emilee Ellis was 2-for-2 with an RBI and Caity Jo Lee was 1-for-3 with a run-scoring triple.

Kaylie Courson doubled and Katrina Harden was 1-for-3.

For Sims, this is a second chance to make a bigger impression.

“I’ve got them relaxing right now. I think the mistake I made last year was over-coaching them,” said Sims.

It’s not just Sims taking a different approach.

Thornton, who has not  lined the Lady Wildcats dugout with motivational anecdotes highlighted by the picture of a Longhorn steer with a line drawn through it.

“We watched them get beat twice before we played Monday,” said Sims. “Glenwood and Macon both beat them. We were looking at the pitching charts: one error and three hits and we lost 1-0. We know who we need to keep the ball away from. If we do, that I think we are going to be okay.”

But, the tournament is not about just Marengo.  The winner of Thursday’s first-round game will meet the Jackson/Ashford winner at  4. The losers will meet in the first knockout round at 2.

“At this point, this year, the girls get a long better and want to win,” said Sims. “We are ready to win.  And the girls want to win.”

To that, the Lady Wildcats are bringing a few new weapons with them.

Hartley has been Edgewood’s workhorse all season inside the circle and, after homering in the loss to Glenwood, currently home run record with 16.

Katrina Harden has also proven to be a tough out and helped pace the Lady Wildcats offense in 2013.

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