10 Pioneers work toward improved infield play

Softball team plays exhibition today


Practice makes perfect.
With the season just days away, the Fort Calhoun softball team was focused on playing loose and fast in the infield as it worked to improve its fielding percentage.
“We've got flips and feeds that we do. We've got a return drill that we like to do,” coach Mandy Taylor said Aug. 10, less than a week before today's 6 p.m. exhibition game in Tekamah. “There's lots of different, repetition-type work that we build into our practices.”
The Pioneers want routine outs to be just that this season as they aim to improve on 2021's 6-16 record after going winless in 2020. Repetition is among the strategies Taylor and assistant coach Bob Woodworth, who led Bennington's American Legion baseball program alongside new FCHS activities director Jamie Schleifer, are employing in practice.
“It develops not just that physical part of it, but that mental confidence,” Taylor said. “The more confident you are, the less mistakes you'll make.”
Among the most confident players in the Calhoun lineup are the experienced Sam Brewer, Anna Taylor, Kaylee Taylor, Lucie Larsen, Addie Benoit and Millard North transfer Kaitlyn Welchert, the coach said. Those players have also been tasked with becoming a united front with their teammates. Main offseason objectives in Mandy Taylor's program are chemistry and camaraderie.
The Pioneers will have to work together going into Thursday's official season opener against West Point GACC. They only have 10 roster members as of the first week, leaving very little room for fielders who aren't on the same page.
“That's where we're at,” Taylor said when asked about the size of her roster.
Izzy Greenough, Bryanna Bender, Samantha Ladwig and Adriana Hernandez are all likely to see significant playing time this fall alongside the aforementioned student-athletes.
“There's a lot of ballplayers in the area. They're just running cross-country or playing volleyball,” Taylor said. “It's hard at a small school when you have three sports to choose from.”
Those in softball uniforms are practicing, fielding and making throws after fielding and making throws.

Fort Calhoun Softball


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