WINDER—Oconee County High School softball team head coach Bryan Eades didn’t know what to expect from his team in their season opener on Tuesday night.
The Warriors don’t truly know who they are yet but they somehow, someway’d their way to a 10-5 win over Winder-Barrow to get to a 1-0 start to the 2019 season.
The Warriors lost some key cogs in their lineup after last season with Hannah Patridge and Morgan Tyler both graduating. The ability to sit back and wait on the big home run is gone and the known stolen base commodity in Tyler at the top of the lineup is also going now in the hands of other players.
Tuesday the Warriors put their new formula to the test. The Warriors’ offense slapped the ball around against the WBHS pitching staff. Kailey Adcock had three hits for three runs batted in. Keely Glenn also drove in two runs.
The Warriors’ starting pitcher Kayla Orrell threw seven innings and recorded two strikeouts. The results speak to an offensive explosion but the Warriors relied on their base-running, bunting and plate discipline to get them on the board early before blowing the game open in the fourth inning with a five run-frame.
“That’s what we’ve got to do [manufacture offense],” Eades said. “Their catcher was very good, and I didn’t think we’d be able to steal. So, we were going to have to bunt and hit and run to move runners. We did that and we did that extremely well. We got bunts down and we moved runners. For the most part, our base running was very good. We work on that quite a bit. I tell them base running may count for two runs a game either way. We’re going to have to execute. Kayla (Orrell), as good as she is, we’re not going to strike out eight or 10 or 12 a game. We’re going to have to execute and score runs and stuff like that.”
No matter how it got done, the Warriors will take the win. Eades doesn’t mind the Warriors winning in ways that won’t necessarily be their calling card in the late days of September and into early October. The Warriors don’t have their identity yet.
Softball is unforgiving by the way of time.
For more on this story, see the Aug. 8 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, go to oconeeenterprise.com or call (706) 769-5175.