There's one stat that stands out from the Bastrop Lady Rams' 2012 softball season — 187 errors in 24 games. Put another way, that equates to 7.8 miscues per game. From yet another angle, we're talking well over an error per inning.
Summing up the consequences of the Lady Rams' defensive generosity assistant coach Jimmy Porter said, “We gave up a run for every error.”
You get the idea. Significant defensive improvement is a prerequisite to improving upon last year's 8-16 campaign.
“By my wisdom, if we can cut down on (errors), we'll win more games,” fourth-year coach Todd Briley said, exhibiting a dry sense of humor. “When you're giving four, five and six outs every inning and only getting three, it's tough to catch up to that.”
With only five players who have appeared in a varsity game and a roster completely void of seniors, the Lady Rams will rely on a young lineup.
“We could have three freshmen starting or contributing right away,” Briley said.
Megan Crymes (so.) is the team's only pitcher with any previous varsity experience. Starting every game as a freshman last season, Crymes spent most of her time in center field. Kenyshae Beasley (fr.) and Leigh Ann Merrill (jr.) will also be called upon to pitch.
Ashley George (jr.) and Caitlyn Blakely (so.) are the catchers. George saw extensive action last season at other positions.
Infielder Dee McDaniel (jr.) and utility player Amanda Patrick (jr.) are the only other returning regulars. McDaniel played primarily at first base last season, while Patrick handled third base.
Also vying for playing time are Shelricka Bryant (fr.), Chelsea Fagan (fr.), Maci Garten (jr.), Delaney Mayo (so.), Shakela Moore (jr.), Bailey Perkins (fr.) and Hailey Reed (jr.). Tia Coleman (fr.) will report after basketball season.
“Dee, Shelricka and Tia played travel ball over the summer and some of them came up here and worked out over the summer,” Briley said.
With the Feb. 19 season opener at Delhi only two weeks away, Briley says several spots are still up for grabs.
“We still have a couple of positions open,” Briley said. “It might take a couple of games to see exactly where we want to have everybody.”
Offensively, the Lady Rams are built around speed.
“We haven't had a lot of power since I've been here. We haven't done a lot of live hitting, but other than Chelsea and Dee, I don't think we're going to have a lot of power this year,” Briley said. “One thing I think we are going to have is a lot of speed at the top of our lineup. Whether we're driving the ball to the outfield or playing or playing small ball, we should be able to get on base, and hopefully, score some runs.”
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