By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The softball season can seem to be over in the blink of an eye.
Starting in March and ending in May, the games can appear as a sprint to anybody on the outside looking in.
But for programs like the Bartlett Lady Panthers, when you’re trying to restore the glory, a season can be a like a distance race.
Bartlett Head Coach Kasey Craddock and crew are pacing themselves while making progress on the field. Back on April 7 the Lady Panthers were defeated 18-6 by the Munford Lady Cougars on their home field.
Last Thursday night, Bartlett got a chance at revenge and to see if they made progress over the two weeks. The Lady Panthers have apparently made strides beating the Lady Cougars 10-2 on Glenn Goulder Field.
“We played a complete game,” Craddock said. “We’re playing awesome defense and we actually finished.
“We’ve been telling them they could play like this all season,” she added. “We’ve been telling them this since January that this is the team we expect them to be. It’s finally coming together, so they are excited.”
The Lady Panthers were excited to get a solid performance from junior hurler Finley Curtis. Bartlett’s normal ace in the circle is Grace Dickinson.
Curtis neutralized the Munford lineup for seven innings limiting the Lady Cougars to a run in the second inning after jumping ahead 8-0 through two innings.
Bats like Marley Gaia, Brooke Trundle, Trinity Arrambide and others were finding open spots through the Munford defense to score three runs in the first inning. Then a five-run second inning helped Bartlett seize control.
Craddock said it was the defense of her squad that made the difference on the night. She noted it is the best defense unit for her Lady Panthers in her tenure.
As for the pitching, Craddock said her hurlers have to trust that defense and just continue to hit spots on a consistent basis.
Then the finally key to Bartlett to continue to make progress and challenge the Arlington Lady Tigers for the District 14-3A crown is at the plate.
“We just need to keep hitting the ball like we know how and being aggressive at the plate,” Craddock concluded. “And we’ve got to keep our heads up.”