Legacy’s softball team lost in the third round of last year’s playoffs to familiar foe Hallsville, but the Lady Broncos were set from that moment on to position themselves for a strong year this season.
The Lady Broncos return everyone from last year and have added some depth with two freshmen.
Included in the return are all four pitchers for Legacy.
Taking a bye date prior to the spring break, Legacy stood at 3-0 in the district schedule. They have romped through their opponents, averaging 13 runs and giving up one run per game.
Last year, Legacy performed well without any seniors and this year’s leadership, with four, is only adding to the team’s potential.
“This year we have four seniors, seven juniors, two sophomores and two freshmen and they gel really well,” said Legacy head coach Amie Prater.
Other team characteristics should benefit the Lady Broncos.
“They’re a great group,” Prater said. “They’re accountable for their actions, they’re intelligent and you don’t have to push them hard. They treat each other with respect and they’re learning to do things the right way. This year we’ve really improved on learning how to finish things.”
That type of killer instinct should help prevent teams from making comebacks late in the game as was the case last season.
Several returning players may make it even more difficult to mount a comeback on Legacy.
The four returning pitchers, including starter Sophie Hannabus, are back and complement each other.
Prater said Hannebus is throwing harder this year and has a great, natural movement.
“The movement was there last year but there’s a presence there this year,” Prater said. “After basketball, Sophie came in and has been very dedicated. In her first game back, she came out with a 0.0 ERA.”
Karlie Milburn will also be available as a quality pitcher and at first base.
Senior Reagan Wright is behind the plate and has already shown her power at the plate.
She is joined by other big sticks such as Meagan Dake who has registered a grand slam against Ennis.
“Meagan came on at the end of last year and power is her strength,” Prater said.
Pitching and a strong offense may be what stands out for Legacy, but a strong middle infield and outfield should help keep close games within reach.
“We need to be able to win with 10 or two runs,” Prater said. “We work on fundamentals every day.”
When Hannebus isn’t pitching, she can play left field and is joined in the outfield by Ta’Lyn Moody in center and Lisa Hart in right.
Moody is an aggressive player while Hart has become known for her arm.
The district will have solid competition again as in years past.
Timberview, with Mariah Denson in the circle, can play with anyone and Ennis can be a threat when they’re bats are working, Prater said. Waxahachie is a team that can contend with anyone, too.
“There’s so many things to be excited about,” Prater added. “But we have to keep them in their lane.”