Lady Tigers set goal of making state

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Green Forest Lady Tiger softball team was three runs away from making it to the state tournament a year ago. Coach Ryan Whetham said 20 girls have been showing up at practice since January and they are motivated to get to the state tournament this year.

"That is the most I have ever had out, so that is great," Whetham said. "We have two at every position so we can have some competing going on, which is always great."

Green Forest lost five seniors last year, but Whetham said he is confident the freshman he is gaining will make up for it.

"We have got some freshmen that are really going to help us this year," Whetham said. "They have pretty much played their whole lives, doing softball."

Last year, the Lady Tigers struggled offensively. That is Whetham's main concern right now, but he is confident that can turn around.

"I think our defense will be a lot better, but my worry is our hitting," Whetham said. "The thing that I have noticed in the first two months is our offense. We are going to have to get a lot better and score a lot of runs to get there. We haven't even played a game yet, though, so come by the end of March I might say we have what it takes to get over that hump."

Whetham expects the conference to look very similar to what it did a year ago.

"Melbourne and Valley Springs will battle it out for one and two," Whetham said. "Melbourne, they didn't lose but one or two seniors and Valley, I don't think they lost a senior last year. But after that, it could be anybody for that number three spot. It's just a matter of who wins their home games like they are supposed to."

While Whetham is looking forward to seeing if his senior high team can make a run to the state tournament, he is also looking forward to seeing how the junior high team performs.

"I've had those freshman coming up and then probably four or five girls that have never played softball before," Whetham said. "They just wanted to come out and try it. They are getting better as the weeks go by and I'm looking forward to seeing how they play in JV games and see how far they can come along. There will be a lot of teaching going on this year, which is always fun."

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