UPDATE #15: 8:30 PM - March 12, 2011 - Walterboro, S.C. (Phillip Greene)
Today is travel day. The Bobcats pulled themselves out of bed early this morning and departed for the fields around 7:15 a.m. The trip really gave us the opportunity to see how well the girls held up against higher tier D-II competition.
It wasn't a bad day all-in-all, the girls held their own against St. Cloud State and Concordia-St. Paul, it was a good measuring stick for how well the girls are playing this season. All around it was a great week for the Bobcats over their performance last season in Florida. The girls went 1-7 last season in Florida, this season we wrap up the trip with a 5-5 record and remain three games under .500 with an 11-14 record as we head into the week of play where the girls have four games on Tuesday and Wednesday.
On Tuesday the Bobcats will travel to Salisbury, N.C. to tangle with Catawba College in a double-dip that is slated for a 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. start. The diamond Bobcats will then host their home opener on Wednesday when they host King College in non-conference play with action getting underway at 3:00 p.m.
Overall, we come back from Fla. with some new confidence and more experience that will likely play well for Conference Carolinas play that will be in full swing in the next couple of weeks. Thanks for following along this week and come out to the ballpark and cheer on the ladies as they continue their run this season.
Until next time - Stay tuned and GO BOBCATS!
UPDATE #14: 11:00 PM - March 11, 2011 - OCSC (Coach Yackey)
Today was a successful day on the softball field even though we came away with a split. In the first game against Edinboro University we got off to a good start by scoring in the first inning. Once again we showed our determination and will to win by having a good third inning and scoring three runs to retake the lead for good in the game.
Our pitchers and defense did a good job of controlling Edinboro throughout the entire game, only letting them score in one inning. The combination of Laurel Gregg starting and Bryce Campbell finishing games this has been effective as we have won three of the four games with this rotation.
We struggled a little both offensively and defensively in the second game against Wheeling Jesuit University. As is the case in some games, our opponent hit the ball and found holes, where we hit balls directly at their defenders.
I thought our ladies played hard the entire game, we just did
not get the bounces that our opponent did. Also, we probably faced
the best pitcher tonight that we have seen all week. Tomorrow
provides an opportunity to begin a new winning streak, and our
opponents will be a good test.
UPDATE #13: 9:00 AM - March 11, 2011 - Kissimmee (Coach Merritt Yackey)
What a great day on Wednesday for our ladies to come away with two wins. In the first game against Holy Family we led or were tied from start to finish, where as in the second game against Chestnut Hill we trailed the entire way until tying it in the bottom of the sixth inning and winning in the eighth.
The second game was truly a team effort as every lady played during the game. We continually discuss how every game requires a solid team effort from the first to the last pitch. This team is learning to win in different ways which will be beneficial later in the season.
There were three keys to our win against Chestnut Hill; 1) Magen West entered the game in the top of the fourth and pitched very well, not allowing them to score or even put any real scoring opportunities on base during the last five innings, 2) Paige Coleman made a terrific play in the top of the 8th by blocking the plate before receiving the throw to secure a double play ending the inning, and 3) Lori Fulmer came through with the game winning clutch hit in the bottom of the 8th.
These types of efforts will provide great confidence as we
finish our week in Florida.
UPDATE #12: 11:30 PM - March 10, 2011 - Kissimmee (Phillip and Lori Fulmer)
PG: You had the game winner to wrap up a 3-for-4 day. What was going through your mind as you approached the plate?
LF: I had a lot of confidence going into that game, we had seen
the girl pitching earlier in the week. I was really focused and
when you get in the situation with bases loaded to win a game it's
amazing, just what you want when you play softball. I just went up
to the plate just looking for a pitch that I like, trying to stay
calm. I've been working on my outside pitches a good bit at
practice and she gave me a low outside ball and I got a good piece
of it. It was a great moment for me it was a real confidence
booster that I needed and I hope it will carry over into the rest
of the week and season.
UPDATE #11: 4:15 PM - March 10, 2011 - Kissimmee (Phillip Greene)
Down day here in Kissimmee, Fla. with the girls loading up just after 8:00 am to head over to Universal for some fun and relaxation. It has been a good day around the houses here, catching up on some rest myself and working on the next two days of action.
Coach Yackey and I spent the morning looking over upcoming opponents for game planning and scouting purposes. Rain forced cancelation of most of today's action in the Rebel Spring Games which kept us from going to see Morgan Yackey and Muskingum play, but Coach was able to go and spend time with Morgan today.
Looking ahead to the next two days, it looks pretty good for the Bobcats. The games yesterday really instilled confidence in the girls, as they had to battle tough to earn two victories, defeating Holy Family and Chestnut Hill.
That confidence will help as the week continues. Up first tomorrow we take on Edinboro. Edinboro has put up a 5-3 record here in Kissimmee, with one victory coming over Conference Carolinas foe Mount Olive. Edinboro also played tough last night, battling to a 7-6 victory over Holy Family. Given the common opponents it looks to be a fairly even match-up for LMC.
The lineup looks solid from top to bottom for the Fighting Scots, with Marissa Pullo and Kari Falk pacing the Scots batting .458 and .370, respectively. Falk has also pitched well for Edinboro posting a 3-1 record and a 1.86 ERA with 17 strikeouts and just four walks in 19.1 innings.
The second opponent for the Bobcats on Friday will be Wheeling Jesuit. The Cardinals have put up a 3-3 record during the week, falling 8-0 to Mount Olive on Tuesday. Other common opponents are Chestnut Hill (W, 7-3) Holy Family (W, 12-4), and Northwood (Mich.) (W, 3-1).
The Bobcats will need to get out early and put up runs in the first couple of innings.
"We have to play our game," said Coach Merritt Yackey this morning. "Neither team is better than teams we have already played, if we play our game we will stand a great chance to improve our record here in Florida."
The Bobcats are 4-2 during the week so far, and look to continue that success, we are 3-0 as the home team, and picked up our first win as the away team yesterday against Holy Family. Should be exciting…stay tuned.
UPDATE #10: 12:00 AM - March 10, 2011 - Kissimmee (Phillip Greene)
Great day both on and off the field as the diamond Bobcats got two quality wins under their belt with comeback wins against Holy Family University and Chestnut Hill College.
The girls showed a great amount of heart during both games, having to come from behind to earn the wins. We will try to get a couple of the girls to give you their insights during the day tomorrow, so that we can better let you in on how this week has been for them. Magen West and Paige Coleman showed great leadership during the second contest, with Magen shutting down the Griffin hitters, striking out eight in five innings of work, and battling her way to a win to continue the success here in Florida.
Tomorrow is a day off for the girls, which will give them the chance to take a day and enjoy themselves around the area. Coach Yackey is planning on using the day to watch his daughter Morgan and the Muskingum Muskies play in two morning contests before spending the afternoon with her here in Fla. Coach Yackey is looking forward to the time he will have with Morgan.
On Friday, the Bobcats will resume play at 5:00 pm when they take on Edinboro in their first game, and then face off with Wheeling Jesuit at 6:30 pm.
It looks to be a cool, rainy day on Thursday, but the weather
will improve before Friday. Go Bobcats!
UPDATE #9: 10:30 AM - March 9, 2011 - Game Day 3 (Coach Merritt Yackey)
We had a fairly good day yesterday with only having one bad inning during the day. Between games we discussed maintaining a strong effort on every pitch and play from start to finish and I thought it showed in the second day. We had runners in scoring position several times in the first game and only scored in one inning.
During the second game we had runners in scoring position every inning and scored in three of the five. All our pitchers did a good job of hitting spots yesterday.
As this is our third day in a row of playing, several of our ladies who do not start many games will do so today to get them playing experience enabling others to get some rest. I anticipate they will do well in this situation and take advantage of their opportunity.
We continually talk about our success as a team effort and today will be evidence of that.
UPDATE #8: 7:30 AM - March 9, 2011 - Kissimmee (Phillip Greene)
The weather has been beautiful here in Florida. With the exception of Sunday morning, the skies have been clear and the temperature has been very comfortable. The Softball action has been superb as well; these girls are fighting hard for every run, and battling against some very tough pitching and hitting.
Two days down, three more to go with an off day scheduled in for Thursday. The Bobcats have played well over the last couple of days. The only thing that has kept them from winning all four are a couple of bad innings, but as Coach Yackey has put it, those are 'learning experiences.'
Last night I began looking at the upcoming schedule - today we have Holy Family University followed by Chestnut Hill. Holy Family opened their season here in Fla. and has a couple of decent threats at the plate. The Tigers have dropped three of their four games thus far; defeating Fayetteville State, and falling to Wheeling Jesuit, Concordia - St. Paul, and Southern Indiana.
The Tigers have been fairly balanced at the plate during the week, with no real standout performances over their two days of competition. Senior pitcher Anna DiBeneditto is likely to get the nod for the Tigers, earning the lone victory of the season. The movement on her pitches is enough to fool many at the plate, and it will be a good battle, as she seems to make adjustments on the fly, and will force the hitters to do the same.
Chestnut Hill has struggled at the plate here in Fla. The
Bobcats found a rhythm against the Griffins in the week opener for
the green and gold. The Bobcats hope that a solid performance will
produce the same results as the first. The games today are slated
for 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. starts. I will be doing my best to
keep you updated via Twitter (LMCBobcats) and Facebook (Lees-McRae
Athletics/LMCAthletics). Stay tuned throughout the day and GO
UPDATE #7: 9:00 AM - March 8, 2011 - Game day 2 (Coach Merritt Yackey)
It was great to get our Florida trip off to a good start with a win in the first game. We did the things we need to be successful - get consecutive batters on base and deliver hits with runners in scoring position, get the first out of each inning defensively and pitch effectively.
Bryce Campbell saw her first action of the season and pitched well in relief and went 2 for 2 at the plate. Additionally, a couple ladies who were struggling at the plate got some base hits to help their confidence. Even though we fell behind 5-0 in the second game, we showed great fight to come back to tie the game in the middle innings.
I am pleased with the determination and heart of this team to never give up and play hard for the entire game. Today should be another good day for us to compete and hopefully play well both offensively and defensively.
We had a visit from Coutney Merta, who was a freshman at LMC
last year and played softball - she currently lives in Kissimmee.
It is also wonderful to have the parents and friends of many of our
players in Florida watching the games.
UPDATE #6: 8:00 AM - March 8, 2011 - Kissimmee (Phillip Greene)
Looks to be another great day of weather and action as the Bobcats are just starting to stir, with a little later start to the day due to a later start time.
We take on Northwood (Mich.) first this afternoon at the Osceola County Sports Complex with a game against Sciences in Philadelphia following. Both teams seem to be playing hard here this week in the Rebel Games. Northwood has a couple of players who can get hot in a hurry, but it seems as though LMC may have what it takes to hold them off. The beauty of softball is that the whole team hits, but it only takes one or two to turn a game around.
Northwood opened their showing at the Rebel Spring games with a split, defeating Southwest Minnesota in their opener. The Timberwolves dropped a heartbreaker last night to Wheeling Jesuit, a later opponent for the Bobcats this week. Northwood seems to be a streaky team, and can catch fire quickly, but have settled for just a 2-4 record here in Kissimmee. The Wolves are led by Sam Zaborowski, who is leading the team with seven of the teams 15 RBI this season.
In the day's second contest, it will be a tough battle as well. Sciences picked up their first victory of the season in the opener, defeating Lewis 9-3, but have dropped five straight heading into today's action. They open the day with Indiana (Pa.) before taking on the Bobcats. Haley Kavelak will look to lead the Devils, pacing the team this season with some great swings.
The Bobcats will look to rebound after a tough loss to Slippery
Rock, hoping to build on their 1-1 record here in Fla. GO
UPDATE #5: 11:45 PM - March 7, 2011- House in Kissimmee (Phillip Greene)
It was a nice day here in Fla. as we emerged from the houses to head over to Oren Brown Stadium for today's contests. The Bobcats opened the day taking on Chestnut Hill College and earning the victory over the Griffins.
It was a great way to kick off the week, putting together a win to open the week, with Laurel Gregg battling her way to a win while the Bobcats earned an 8-3 victory in the opener. The Lady 'Cats fell in game two in a tough one, falling behind early, but showing their Bobcat pride by piecing together a nice rally in the top half of the fourth inning to tie the contest. Slippery Rock battled back to earn the win, but there was definitely some heart shown in the 9-6 loss.
Following the games , the team decided to go to Old Town for a little while, to relax and enjoy themselves. After that, it was back to the houses for dinner and some rest. The Bobcats open up a little later tomorrow, playing at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and it looks to be another fun day of softball action here in Kissimmee; 1-1 for the week, hoping to make it 3-1 after Tuesday.
UPDATE #4: 8:00 PM - March 6, 2011 - Other House in Kissimmee (Coach Merritt Yackey)
I believe the ladies are excited about getting on to the field to start play tomorrow. Our plans are to play very aggressively offensively by taking extra bases via steals and specific hit and run opportunities, as well as defensively always working to get the lead runner.
Some keys for us to be successful this week are: 1) getting the first out of every inning defensively, 2) getting our lead-off batter on base as often as possible, and 3) hitting well with runners in scoring position.
In looking toward Chestnut Hill tomorrow, we need to play well
defensively and take advantage of any mistakes they make. They
were similar to us last year as they did not experience the success
hoped for during the season. Getting the first run in the game
will be important for our confidence.
UPDATE #3: 6:00 PM - March 6, 2011 - House in Kissimmee (Phillip Greene)
It has been another great day. Got up early this morning and headed to the fields to take in a couple of contests and enjoy a beautiful Sunday of action here in Kissimmee, Fla.
The team checked in and practiced this afternoon over at the main field complex. It also served as a good time to make my way around and scope out some of this week's opponents. I got the opportunity to make my way around the complex and watch Slippery Rock University as they took on their second opponent of the day.
The Lowdown on SRU: From watching this afternoon, they appear to have a certain quickness on the base paths that benefits them in many situations. The Lions are led by a couple of All-PSAC -West returners in 1B Jenna Geibel and CF Shardea Cross.
Geibel is a speedy first baseman who can also hit for power, belting a shot to left-center during their opener against Wilmington (Del.) University. Geibel will be a threat from the right side of the plate all day for the Lions. Couple that with her ability to scoop most every throw that comes her way, always making it hard to earn a free pass on an errant throw, she could be a tough out for the Bobcats.
Cross is a left-handed speedster who can make a difference in a game in the way that she handles the bat. Cross has the makings of a great combo player who can move the runners, but also provide a serious threat on the bases with her speed and agility. It looks to be a tough match up for the Bobcats during their second contest of the day, but one that the Lees-McRae can handle.
Hopefully I will be able to get Coach Yackey to offer his opinion on the upcoming opponents and a couple of other insights following what looks and smells like a great dinner. Go Bobcats!
UPDATE #2: 11:30 PM - March 5, 2011 - Kissimmee, Fla. (Phillip Greene - Community Relations Manager)
Arrived at the resort around 7:45 pm, everyone unloaded and began to settle in, which for a group of hyperactive girls means turning on the WIi and playing Just Dance.
Long day on the bus, with a change of plans due to the threat of inclement weather in Due West, S.C. The contest with Erskine that was to start the weekend was postponed until later in the season, giving the Bobcats the chance to depart for Florida a little earlier than originally planned. Looking ahead the Bobcats will be playing ten games over the next seven days, opening their schedule on Monday with two contests .
The LMC ladies open their week with Chestnut Hill at 11 am on Monday, and will face off with Slippery Rock at 1 p.m. We will try and give you a little better look at the opposition tomorrow with a day off before the action starts full swing on Monday for the Bobcats. Stay tuned!
UPDATE #1: 3:30 PM - March 5, 2011 - Near Savannah, Ga. (Phillip Greene - Athletic Community Relations Manager)
A light drizzle is starting to fall as we continue to travel south on I-95 en route to Kissimmee, Fla. on our way to the Rebel Games. We have had a mixture of weather conditions from 45 degrees and mist in Banner Elk upon departure, to the 70 degree weather of Southeast Georgia this afternoon. Should be crossing into Florida within the next hour or so (likely shorter, we're making great time).
It looks to be a great week! I just want to give a preview of what you will be seeing as you follow along during the next few days. I will be trying to give at least one-to-two updates daily, giving a preview of the day's opposition in the mornings with a daily wrap-up each evening. Also, along the way, Coach Yackey has agreed to provide a daily update when possible, with a number of the girls offering their perspective along the way. Stay tuned as we bring you updates from the road.
Have a great afternoon and GO BOBCATS!
UPDATED: Saturday March 5, 2011 - 12:52 p.m.
BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Lees-McRae College community relations manager Phillip Greene is on the road with the Bobcat softball team as LMC makes the 12-hour trek to Kissimmee, Fla. to participate in next week's annual Rebel Games. Greene will be providing Bobcat fans with frequent updates throughout the week, including contributions from select members of the travel party. Be sure to check back throughout the week for updates on your Bobcat softball team!