Playing a limited schedule the Weatherford Christian School (WCS) Lady Lions weren’t so limited on success in their first season of softball.
The Lady Lions finished with a 4-1 record. Two games were rained out that they were unable to make up.
“We had 15 girls that wanted to play and only four had played softball before,” said coach Robert Finney. “We have some very athletic girls, because by the end of the season you couldn’t tell that these girls hadn’t played before.”
The team, a junior high squad, did not compete in a district.
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“We were kind a late deciding on getting a team together,” Finney said.
“We hope to have a high school team as well next year.”
The Lady Lions’ roster consisted of four eighth-graders, eight seventh-graders and three sixth-graders.
Seventh-grader Anna Grace Salter, the pitcher, was voted the team MVP.
Finney said once the idea sprang up, it took off with some help.
“We had some interest from the girls, and some of the great parents we have helped make it happen,” he said. “We were very competitive because of our pitching and hitting.”
Finney is an oil and gas landman who volunteered for the job. He is also on the board at Weatherford Christian and a deacon at South Main Church of Christ. Over the years he has coached junior high boys basketball and football at WCS, and he is currently an assistant coach for his son’s Little League baseball all-star team in Weatherford.
Finney said while he hasn’t instituted an official summer/offseason program, some of the girls are playing summer softball and a couple are on select teams. He also said the team will likely have a new coach next season as they move forward.
“I probably won’t be coaching next year, as with the interest and number of girls wanting to play, WCS is looking for a regular coach for both the high school and junior high programs,” he said.
Also on the roster for the first season were eighth-graders Leilani Finney, first base; Mackenzie Stevens, outfield; Ali J. Lee, outfield; Jacklyn Aldridge, shorstop; seventh-graders Gracie Milligan, shortstop; Gracee Hawley, third base; Beni Farr, second base; Isabell Macamey, second base; Lexi Rodriguez, third base; Adi Jo Lee, outfield, Paige Bull, catcher; and sixth-graders Rachal Jacquez, outfield; Shelby Maddox, outfield; Rachel Chalmers, outfield.
Managers were Amelia Pendleton and Charley VanNewkirk.
“We had a short but very productive season, more practice than games,” Finney said. “But the girls improved dramatically and I am very proud of each and every one of them.”