With six of the nine starting positions being held by freshmen or sophomores, Maumelle Coach Jayme McCoy is seeing the inconsistences of their youth on the field.
It’s not that they don’t have the skills and haven’t played before, it’s that the team is still not used to playing with one another. Prior to spring break, the Hornets (1-4, 0-2 4A-4) suffered three losses, including two conference setbacks. They lost to Booneville, 11-1, Mayflower, 12-7, and Pottsville, 7-1. Last night, they traveled to Dover for another conference matchup.
“If we can get rid of one bad inning, we’ll be just fine,” McCoy said. “We are getting better just inconsistent. It’s so frustrating. I even had the umpire ask me right after Tuesday’s game (Booneville), “Coach, how many teams do you have?” We played phenomenal the first three innings. In the fourth inning, it changed.”
Booneville was 4A state runner-up to Nashville last year, and McCoy said the Hornets simply got beat. However, in the other games, Maumelle hurt itself in the contests with miscues.
“We have one inning that is rough,” she said. “We are making bonehead plays. It’s just a matter of gelling and maturing.”
McCoy does see the miscues effecting freshman pitcher Faith Melton. She says Melton tries to carry the weight of everything on her.
“She starts to overthrow,” McCoy said. “I have to get her to trust her defense, but she can’t do that when they make bonehead plays.”
Taking time off during spring break, McCoy said the Hornets were going to spend Monday’s practice working on the basics. She’s a firm believer in the best offense is the best defense. She wants to see the girls to not be scared to make mistakes and quit overthinking situations. When she told them they weren’t practicing during spring break, some of the girls took the liberty to practice anyway.
On Friday and Saturday, the Hornets compete in the Jae Lynn Russell Tournament hosted by North Pulaski. McCoy is ready to see some real softball.
“The scores have been ridiculous,” she said. “Even the game we won was by 14-15 runs. That is not fastpitch. For sure, I don’t like giving up that many runs. We are getting better every single game. It’s crazy we are winning in other ways, statistically we are winning.”