Cougars are young, but extremely promising

Published 10:52 am Thursday, August 4, 2016

Photo by Anthony McDougle/ Elizabeth Case (left) and Anna Grace Covington are the lone seniors for BA this season.

Photo by Anthony McDougle/
Elizabeth Case (left) and Anna Grace Covington are the lone seniors for BA this season.

Brookhaven Academy head coach Becky Flowers has always had a young team at BA.
In her first year she had only four seniors, the next year, only three. But she has never had a group as youthful as the 2016 Cougars.

Through the first two games of the 2016 softball season for the Cougars, Flowers has essentially fielded a  junior varsity team.
A great deal of her team has not even made it to high school yet.

Most of them play in the early junior-varsity game and immediately have to prepare to face varsity competition after the completion of the early games.

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With two seventh-graders, and three eighth-graders, the Cougars are one of the youngest teams in the district. Flowers’ squad only has two seniors, Elizabeth Case and Anna Grace Covington, returning to the squad this year.

However, she is not stressing the fact that her team will likely be younger and less experienced  than all their opponents  this year. In fact, she feels the young ladies have shown a great deal of promise in the early stages of the season.

“We have done a lot of good things early in the season,” she said. “We have done well putting the ball into play and we are not striking out a lot. I’m really proud of how they have performed so far.”
The Cougars’ first game was a 5-2 loss to Centreville. In that game the Cougars were up going into the final frame, but their youth got the best of them.

“First games are tough for young teams and through six innings we were almost perfect. In the seventh inning we got a little anxious, a little tired and just lost our grip on the game, but we will definitely learn from it and grow up,” Flowers said.

Even in a tough loss the young Cougar squad showed signs of potential. The team showed an ability to get its players on base, but was not quite able to translate that into points. The Cougars left nine runners stranded on base in the loss against Centreville, but Flowers feels that is something that the team will remedy as her team matures.

“It’s tough on those younger kids coming up to the plate in pressure situations,” she said, “but that experience will come with time.”
Their second game against Copiah Academy was a 10-6 loss and Flowers felt her team performed well in that game as well.

“We are definitely making strides. We did well getting the bases loaded against Copiah as well,” Flowers said. “We loaded them five innings in a row and got six out of it so hopefully we can load them all  seven the next game.”

Flowers added that several of the younger players have stood out through the first two games.

“My pitcher, Madi Smith, is 13 and she throws in the mid-50s so her best pitching is ahead of her. She has done really well,” she said.
Seventh-grader Emily Claire Felder has gotten off to a good start at the plate for the Cougars. Through two games she has four hits on eight plate appearances and is currently batting at .517.

Flowers said looking forward she would like to see her young team’s mentality improve. She also said she would like them to improve on the little things like cutting out the defensive errors, making better decisions in clutch situations and improving communication in the outfield.

“Sometimes you have to forget end results and just remember how you got to the point you are at,” she said.

“As a coach I just have to look at the fact that we are making strides. Sometimes to put the puzzle together you have to put all the pieces into the right place and that is what we are. We just have to get them to the point where they stand strong when things start to go wrong instead of wanting to give up.”

The Cougars will face Copiah Academy at home today and the junior varsity will play at 6:30 p.m.