Bath Softball Fields Another Strong Team
Hot Springs, VA – The reigning state champions Bath Chargers softball team is off to a red-hot start and looks like a contender for back-to-back titles. The Chargers are 7-0 and defeated Lord Botetourt High on Saturday to win the Botetourt Bash tournament.
Coach Lisa Baugh says her team is built around senior all-staters Jailyn Ford and Amanda Shifflet.
“It helps to have a pitcher like Jailyn,” she said. “To me, she’s the best in the state, but her strength is on the mound and at bat. And Amanda, who catches Jailyn – my dynamic duo – is also strong behind the plate and she’s strong with the bat. She’s my lead-off.”
Shifflet says she enjoys playing catcher.
“I do, especially for Jailyn, because she makes the position fun,” she said. “She has so many pitches. She has a curve, like a screw, a dropball, a razball, a fastball and a changeup.”
The catcher says Ford’s fastball hurts more than the other team.
“Oh yeah, especially in the beginning of the season,” she said. “It kind of takes awhile to warm up to it. It hurts for awhile.”
Who’s on third? Bekkah Pauley, and the coach says she plays the hot corner with courage.
“Bekkah Pauley, she’s on third and she’s strong on the bat and she’s not scared,” she said. “We play our corners up and she’s not scared. She comes up until we get two strikes and then, they back off. She’s a toughie.”
The coach expects big things out of senior second baseman Jordan Fry.
“Last year, she struggled with the bat, but this year, she has improved 100-percent,” she said. “I look for her to do extremely well.”
The coach has confidence in two new starters in the infield.
“We lost our shortstop and first baseman last year,” she said. “So, we have two young girls filling in. That’s Makayla Colaw and then, Taylor Grubbs is playing short. I see good things from them. If they listen and do what we tell them and stay disciplined, I think they’ll both do well.”
Third baseman Pauley is confident that new starters can handle the pressure of the playoffs.
“Even though they’re young, they seem like they’re older and they’re mature and everything,” she said. “I think they’ll be able to handle stressful situations really well. I think we’ll still have a really strong season.”
Second baseman Fry says early season mistakes are being corrected.
“We’ve all made mistakes and it’s not just the younger girls,” she said. “It’s just because it’s the first few games and we’ve learned from those mistakes. We’re ready for districts and regionals and, hopefully, states.”
Ford is confident the team can repeat.
“The team looks really well,” she said. “We’re definitely coming together as a team. It’s still early in the season, but later in the year, I think we’ll be able to go as far as we did last year.”
The Chargers play at James River on Tuesday at 5 p.m. Their next home game is Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. versus the Pendleton County Wildcats.