ANDERSON, Ind. —
The high school softball season has had two weeks to get started, but for most coaches it has been an exercise in frustration.
The schools that had spring break a week ago missed several chances to get out and get some games in, and the previous week started with 10 inches of snow. Schools that had the break two weeks ago enjoyed some time on the diamond last week.
Three of those schools made excellent use of that time. Pendleton Heights played a couple of weekday games and then won its own Horseshoe Classic on Saturday, a tournament that routinely draws some of the state’s best teams. Madison-Grant also played in that tournament, getting in three games that day.
Alexandria is also off to a quick start, getting a handful of games in and finding success in them.
Now comes the Madison County tournament, slated to begin today. The weather forecast is dismal for the first three days so how the tourney unfolds is open to question.
The Tigers were 13-15 a year ago but lost only one player, Destynee Bischof, from that squad. The key returning lettermen from that team are Jamie Dircks, Natalie Beeman, Mariah Cook, Ashley Beeson, Carlee Wihebrink, Taylor Jennings and Hannah Murphy.
“We have the ability to go a long way this year,” said Tigers coach James King. “We are an experienced team. There is a lot of talent in our county, but I like our chances.”
The Indians and head coach Doug Holder will be missing Taylor Courtney, Kenzie Denny, Bobbi Fosnot and Brittney McCullough from last year’s 14-14 team. They return three pitchers: Sara Clapp, Haley Helton and Sydney Schmitt. Also back are Shelby Schmitt, Mariah Miller, Alex Poor, Donjanae Chamberlain, Kaylie Qualls, Avery Raper, Kaira Jackson and Serina Stinson.
Newcomer Aleena Shively may play a role.
“With an abundance of speed, playing experience and returning power potential, we are excited for the season to get started,” said Holder. “With the new nine-team format (for the county tourney), many teams with key players returning and the current spring weather, who really knows?”