This group of girls with just one senior jelled together as a cohesive unit. Their ability to compete improved with each game as they won their last 11 games to close out the year with a 38-5 and their first state championship in AA and seventh overall.
Many teams look for that one leader to lead the way, but this year’s group picked up each other through out the course of the season.
Senior outfielder Taylor Newton provided great leadership when it counted as she went an amazing 20-for-31 (.645) over her final 12 games of the year.
The sophomore battery of pitcher Ashley Vickers and catcher Carley Peden were on the same page, especially through out the post season and they excelled when the stakes got high. Peden made the plays behind the plate, while Vickers kept her poise in the circle and made the key pitches to get out of jams. In the postseason, (North AA and State AA Tournaments), Vickers gave up only six earned runs on 23 hits with 11 walks and 44 strikeouts in 40 innings of work.
Vickers was backed up with a superb defense and a solid offense. The infield consisted of third baseman Shelby Newsom (So.), shortstop Taylor Ann Bailey (Jr.), second baseman Kailyn Lofton (Fr.) and first baseman Brantley Hutchinson (So.), while the outfield was comprised of Ana Parker Davis (So.), Newton and Kamryn Otts (So.).
At the plate, the Lady Colts’ smart approach at the plate kept them making contact on every at-bat forcing while their hustle out of the batters box enabled them to reach base and score runs on a consistent basis. Chrissy Tubbs did a superb job as designated hitter to aid to Bayou's attack. The Lady Colts struck out just seven times in their four games in the AA State Fast Pitch Softball Tournament in Pearl.
The Lady Colts’ success and overall team demeanor is an example of the leadership from their humble head coach Lauren LaSuzzo and her knowledgeable staff of assistants Ashley Holder and Laken Wilson. Both Holder and Wilson also played high school ball at Bayou.
As far as the future for the Lady Colts, it looks extremely bright as all of these players, with the exception of Newton, are set to return in 2014.
This is truly a special group of young ladies.
Andy Collier is the sports editor at the Bolivar Commercial. He can be reached at (662)-843-4241 or by e-mail at email@example.com.