Central High School softball was back on the diamond Tuesday, July 9, for a pair of home scrimmage games at Terry Floyd Field. The Lady Raiders lost their first game to Cannon County 5-1 before they responded with a 6-4 win over Rockvale.
"It's kind of what we want to do during the summer, we just get a couple teams and play. It gives me a chance to evaluate some of the new kids," Coach Brandon McWhorter said. "I thought they did well. We struggled at the very beginning but we came back in the second game and really stepped it up."
The reduced summer roster for CHS allowed for other players to get more experience in the hour-long games.
Some of the returners also got to try other positions, including catcher Kiya Ferrell. In the second game against Rockvale, Ferrell came in as a pitcher and gave up just four hits.
"We can pin-point different things that they need to work on when we get to practice in August," McWhorter explained. "We can talk about some things that hey, this is what we didn't do well, or this is what we did well."
Against Cannon, the Lady Raiders were held to one hit from Cheyenne Vickers for a double in the bottom of the third. Vickers later came home off a ground out from Jaylee Davis for the team's only run.
After a Cannon-Rockvale game in between, CHS rebounded at the plate against Rockvale with hits from players such as Ferrell, Sarah West and Ashley Evans on the way to the win.
After the games, McWhorter said one area for improvement was to cut back on going down looking on strike three. On the positive side, McWhorter was impressed by the efforts of several younger players, including Vickers and Emily Schuster.
"We had some young girls who really kind of stepped up and had some really big hits for us," McWhorter said. "That's good to see."
Among older players, McWhorter gave praise to Ferrell's work on the mound against Rockvale and the effort from Eliza Carden. McWhorter said Carden, a rising junior, will likely be a competitor to play first base this upcoming season.
"All summer she's been with us every practice," McWhorter said. "She's really kind of stepped up in a leadership role."
Following a Wednesday evening scrimmage on the road at Smryna, the Lady Raiders will take a break until August when the school year begins.
"We're gonna give them the next couple weeks off," McWhorter said. "Once we get to August, of course I get them all back in class and we'll start hitting the weight room again pretty hard."