By Chris Parsons
When the 2013 season begins for the Whitley County Lady Colonels, head coach Amanda Moses said she knows things could go either way for her young team.
For the first time in several years, the Lady Colonels don’t have a clear-cut ace when it comes to pitching. The good news in that is the fact that a friendly competition between Codie Thacker and Rebecca Martin could be just what each of them needs to get better in the early stages of the season.
“I’m going to be very inexperienced pitching-wise,” Moses said. “The good news is our kids are coachable and they give 100 percent when they are out there trying to get better every day.
“Codie Thacker and Rebecca Martin each will come out and try to get better on a daily basis, so we’ll have to see what happens,” she said. “Hopefully they can come out and work together and feed off each other and be even better from what the other one does.”
The success of the Lady Colonels will not hinge on the pitching, so Moses said she expects her defense to be fairly solid as whole.
“I don’t have a lot of concerns about my defense, but I say that every year and then end up saying something stupid about errors in the newspaper,” Moses said with a laugh. “I feel like we are in decent shape, but I’m not sure if Bethany Powers will be able to play due to a knee injury she suffered during basketball season.
“If we have to fill that spot, we won’t be as strong as we would have been with her in there, but I like what we have defensively,” she added. “Our kids aren’t great, but they can get to the balls they are supposed to get to."
Moses said that while her pitching could possibly feed off of a strong defense behind them, she’s quick to point out to her pitchers that teams are going to hit the ball against them on a regular basis. The key is trying to limit the big hits in big situations.
“It doesn’t matter who we play, they’re going to hit the ball against us,” Moses said. “We have to be able to make some plays and try and limit the damage that we allow those hits to do on a consistent basis.
“If we do that, we’ll put ourselves in position to win some games,” she added. “We have some kids that can really eat the ball up and they know what they can do, they just have to perform on a regular basis. If we play with the fundamentals that we teach them in practice, hopefully it will sink in and become routine for them and they can make good plays.”
Offensively, the Lady Colonels are in a similar situation. With no clear-cut leader at the plate, Moses said she will look to some of her more experienced players to lead the way.
“Jaden Dople is our catcher and she’ll also be a big player for us offensively, and Alexa Chaffman will be a big key for us” Moses said. “She’ll be one of our captains and be a big part of what we try to do this season.
“I think we can hit the ball on a regular basis as well, but we won’t really be a power hitting kind of team,” she added. “I hope to be pretty solid from the one spot through seven, but there are a few tweaks that we need to make, but that stuff is going to come as we get them some more live game situations.”
When it's all said and done, Moses said she isn’t expecting her team to be in the running for a district or region title, but she does expect the Lady Colonels to compete regularly.
“Do I expect to be the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the district? No,” Moses said. “But I expect our team to compete with them and play at a consistent level game in and game out.”
Whitley County will open the season next Monday when it hosts Jellico for a doubleheader starting at 5:30 p.m.