FCHS softball team surges back from slow start
Fox Creek High School's varsity softball team had a tough start to the year, but the team has started working itself out of an early hole.The Predators (3-7, 2-0 Region 4-A) have gotten back on the right track after an 0-5 start. This includes a 17-0 victory over region opponent North and another over Williston-Elko, 17-2."We've just got a really, really young team," Fox Creek head coach David Bell said. "We played a good game with White Knoll, who is one of the best AAAA teams in the state. Then we turned around and could hardly do anything against some teams back-to-back (a 19-0 loss to North Augusta and 12-0 loss to Silver Bluff). We're just a young team trying to find our way."Though the team is young, Bell feels strongly about its potential."Honestly, I think I probably have one of the most talented teams I've ever had," he said. "They just aren't meshing quite yet. Morgan Matthews, behind the plate as a freshman, has done a great job. She came in for a girl who was an All-State player, and that's tough. Brittney Cross, who plays second base, is hitting close to .600 for us and that's a pretty impressive stat for a girl who's been playing softball for three years."Stefanie Bloedel is one of a handful of seniors on the team. Coming off volleyball and basketball playoff appearances, it has taken some time for her to get into softball."After going through those seasons, she's come in a little tired," Bell said. "Being able to change modes and get into softball gear has taken some time, but she's getting there."Corrie Hall, who is the captain of the team, is another senior that Bell expects big things from."She's started a couple of times at third and also playing in left field," he said. "She's starting to get more comfortable out there. She's a great team leader and one of those kids who kind of puts too much pressure on herself. ... It's starting to come together though."After finishing up a three-game tournament, the Predators are slated to dive deeper into their region slate. The schedule includes a game that was to happen on Tuesday at Ridge Spring-Monetta and a home game against Wagener-Salley."Those will be some big, deciding games for us," Bell said. "Both of those teams are pretty good. I think those are the two that we will be jostling with. North is real young this year, and Williston also has a pretty young team, too. I haven't seen Blackville-Hilda, but traditionally, Wagener is pretty good. They have two good seniors in the pitcher and catcher spots. It'll come down to whether we're gelling by Wednesday."