Diamond Dogs set new goals for 2014 season

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By Leila Dycus staff writer

Summer is coming to an end and the Morgan County High School softball team is ready to transition into a regular practice schedule- the team is hitting the field this week to prepare for the coming season. “They’ve been playing with other teams and other girls throughout the summer so now we’ve just got to get everybody to mesh together and become a team,” said Head Softball Coach Doug Connelly. The Morgan County High School teams wrapped up their summer conditioning last week. After a summer filled with practice games and conditioning the girls will return to the field this week to begin season practices. The softball players began their conditioning in May and have worked through the summer. The players also participated in a summer league in Walnut Grove. If conditioning and games weren’t enough the girls participated in tournaments at Greenbriar, Augusta, and Piedmont College. The Morgan County girls were successful in terms of wins and losses this summer but the games allowed the coaches to see what the strengths and weaknesses of the team will be going into the season. The games were also a way for the coaches to see where players might play.

Coach Connelly said that the summer games were also a way for the staff to see what they would need to emphasize during the first two weeks of practice. These two weeks will be pivotal in the Bulldogs season as their first game in August 12. “We have a team of great young ladies that are coming back,” said Connelly. The teams have yet to be divided up into varsity and junior varsity. This will likely occur at the end of this week or the beginning of next week. Coach Connelly said that many of the girls would likely play both JV and Varsity. He went on to say that the teams do a lot together and are more a whole program as opposed to two separate teams. Last year the Bulldog softball team won 25 games.

The goal for this season is to go above and beyond what they achieved last year. The team only graduated two seniors last year, meaning a lot of the girls will be returning to the field for this season. “If you asked most coaches we’re definitely known for our offense- being able to score runs and have big innings in terms of scoring a lot of runs, we can score a lot of runs in a short amount of time,” said Connelly. As the team transitions from conditioning to on field practice the coaches plan to work with the team on fundamentals. They will be more recognizable as softball team this week as they will practice throwing, hitting and going over drills. The goal is to make sure that they are fundamentally sound. “We’ll kind of just take up where we left off as far as offense is concerned,” said Connelly. Defensively the coaches want to focus on bringing this team together. Their summer experiences have prepared them and now it is time for them to come together as a team. The girls will begin practices on Wednesday July 30.

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