Wednesday, April 10, 2013
First year Berkeley Lady Stags’ softball coach is cautiously optimistic about his young softball team’s stand atop Region 7AAA with a perfect 5-0 mark as the region schedule begins its second half. Berkeley will find itself on the road in the days ahead against major region foes James Island, Hanahan and Hilton Head.
With a 10-2 overall record, and those two losses coming in a pair of seesaw battles against Stratford, the Lady Stags have relied on solid pitching, an oppressive defense and a juggernaut offense that refuses to quit.
“We are finally ironing out all our rough spots and really starting to come together as a team,” Grooms said. “We’re getting excellent pitching from a pair of eighth graders and some great all around defense behind them.”
Brooklyn Stone has been the mainstay of the moundstaff logging the innings and picking up the big wins, but when called upon Jessica Stanley has stepped it up just as big, throwing a no-hitter earlier in the month against Orangeburg-Wilkinson.
“They are so young but play like juniors and seniors,” Grooms said. “They are mature beyond their years.”
With just three seniors after losing Lexi Samples to a season-ending knee injury early on, Grooms has had to rely on the youth movement.
“Ashtin Kullnat can play anywhere on the diamond and Katie Marsch provides very solid defense at first base,” Grooms said, “And behind the plate R.J. Reid is one of the best there is.”
Grooms added Reid is beginning to draw the attention of some college softball programs.
“She can play on any college softball team out there,” he said.
The Lady Stags take to the road this week in games against James Island and Hanahan.
“This will set the tone for the second time through the schedule,” Grooms said. “These are all big games.”
Dan Brown can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.