Edmonson Celebrates 15-0 Win Over Warren Central On Senior Night
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
After three tough consecutive seasons, plus last year which saw the entire season cancelled, the Edmonson County Lady Cat softball team has already reached a milestone not achieved since the 2018 season, and that's winning at least 10 games in a season.
Last night's 15-0 dominating performance over the struggling Lady Dragons of Warren Central in only three innings evened out their record at 10-10. Edmonson County has not seen a winning season since 2016, where they finished 23-12 and as district champs. Since then, they'd only won only 2 district games until this year, where they are 4-2 in District 12 play.
With a new coaching staff led by Alex Jane Massey, along with several new faces on the field and dugout, there is a renewed attitude towards Lady Cat softball that revolves around winning--despite their .500 record.
"Winning is a mindset," said Coach Massey. "When we came in as coaches, we believed that these kids needed to know that somebody believed in them and that they had potential to win. We try to be positive, but we have rules and expectations. When they fall short, we know that they're better than that, and we have to let them know that they're better than that."
Coach Massey said although last season was cancelled due to the pandemic, it's caused greater appreciation for the game and that this season has served as somewhat of a fresh start for the team.
"Coming in as a new coach is always an obstacle, but we got to know each other quickly," she said. "Because of COVID and these girls missing an entire season, they were so eager to get out here and play. I think because it was taken away from them and just being able to start new this year, they appreciated it more. "
Three seniors were honored last night after the win; Shea VanMeter, Abbie Slaughter, and Mariena Thomas. Coach Massey talked about each one and what they've meant to this team.
"I couldn't have asked for any better seniors," she said. "They all bring something different to the table, which is great. You've got Mariena, who's always upbeat. She's ready to rock-n-roll no matter what, and she's in full throttle 24/7, but you need that on a team. Her energy is contagious. Then you've got Abbie. Her whole senior story just proves her dedication to this team. She's overcome an injury, she's just come back from being sick all week, she's a prime example of dedication and heart to this team, and the girls feed off that as well. Then you've got Shea who literally has played three different positions since the beginning of the season. She's a kid who leads straight by example. She comes in, puts her head down, works hard, and if you ask her to do anything, she's going to do it to the best of her ability and that's something kids need to see. All of these attributes are things that make a team, a team."
Coach Massey said that coming into the season, she asked each team member to list both personal and team goals. She said 95% of the team said they wanted a district championship.
"We've got 8 or 9 games left before we meet Whitesville in the district tournament," she said. "Every one of those is a practice game to beat Whitesville and then to beat whoever is next. That's our goal. Winning the district tournament is our end goal, no matter what. We're improving every game and we have to continue doing that through the post season."