If anyone wanted to use a metaphor for how the Ennis Lady Lions’ softball season has gone, it's been a roller coaster ride as their overall record stands at 16-12.
There have been collective highs where the players have performed cohesively and won, but then lows where errors and lack of fundamentals have proved costly.
It’s got the man at the controls, head coach Rodney McNeill, scratching his head wondering which team is going to show up for games, especially as district in under way, but he remains positive.
“We’ve had some losses where we made errors that cost us some games; we don’t defend like we should but I think it’s something we can improve on,” McNeill said. “We’re not panicking.”
Their first tournament of the year is a perfect example of what Ennis had gone through and has continued into District 15-4A.
The Lady Lions lost to the Mabank Lady Panthers, 5-3, the outcome pretty much decided after a four-run first inning and then making a valiant effort to come back. Undaunted by the loss earlier in the day, they moved on to beat a Class 5A team in the Georgetown Lady Eagles, 2-1. Senior Tori Davis and junior Brittani Zhanel combined to pitch nine innings and 15 strikeouts.
District has been no different as Ennis has added sophomore Whitney Quick to the pitching mix, which gives the team room for optimism.
If Ennis can repeat the 2007 feat of splitting a district game to defending champ Waxahachie, which it has yet to face and perhaps redeem itself by getting back at Midlothian and Arlington Seguin, things could change for the better.
A 4-1 loss to Midlothian and a 3-2 loss to Seguin, which placed second and third last season in district, could put the season in dire straits if Ennis somehow gets swept by the two.
The lone highlight was an 18-0 win against Lancaster in the district opener.
“Even with the best offensive team, you can't rely on that part of a team to win games,” McNeill said. “I’m a defensive-minded coach and I’ve always felt we can’t continue to give up the runs we’ve seen in our games because of errors. We have to be able to get stops no matter who we’re playing and we are capable of doing it.”
Quick got the win against Lancaster, throwing a no-hitter while Zhanel played against Midlothian and pitched a one-hitter against Seguin.
Davis has been much more potent on offense, as has Kaitlyn Colunga and Kaylee Adamcik. They have contributed offensively as have Calleigh Morales, Samantha Cox and Sarah Fincher.
E-mail Albert at firstname.lastname@example.org