By Wil Crews
The Beauregard Lady Hornets (14-15; 1-5) softball team is hitting its stride at just right the time.
“We’re getting better,” head coach Scott Meadows said. “Some outside noise was one of our biggest problems and I think that’s toned down a bit.”
Just three weeks ago, the Hornets returned from spring break and head coach Scott Meadows was looking to reinvigorate his squad for a strong end-of-season push.
The Hornets have been better since then. However, there is still much to do if they are to meet their utmost potential.
“If we can hit a little bit better throughout the lineup, eliminate those walks from the pitchers and don’t throw those one or two errors in there … If we can do all that and put it all together, then we can play with any of them,” Meadows said.
Winners of three out of their last four, Beauregard has wrapped the regular season and have just one tournament (three games) this weekend before a first-round AHSAA 5A Area 05 tournament game against the No. 1 seed Tallassee on May 6.
The Hornets have played Tallassee (17-11-2; 6-0) twice this year and lost both. One was an 11 inning thriller which Beauregard ended up on the wrong end of, 9-8. The other was a 15-8 loss on April 20.
“We’ve lost some games but with the exception of Tallassee, we have played better in the last two or three weeks,” Meadows said.
The good news for Beauregard is that No. 1 pitcher Madison “Mac” McDonald did not start the second game against the Tigers. Meadows said he plans to throw his ace this time around.
“She done threw 11 innings against them the first time,” Meadows said of Mac. “I really didn’t want to throw her twice against anyone because I don’t know how smart that is, but when you are limited on pitching sometimes you aint got no choice.”
Mac did start on senior night against Valley last Thursday. In what was a team effort, she led the way, throwing five innings, striking out seven and allowing only three hits and two earned runs. She also went 2-for-3 with a double and one RBI at the plate. Madison Champion was 1-for-3 with a home run, three RBI’s and three runs scored. Tori Gouker, Caroline Willis, Terry Howard and Mikayla Williams all had two hits apiece.
This Monday, Beauregard dominated Benjamin Russell, winning 12-0. Mac was on the mound once again and earned the win. Leading the charge offensively was Madison Champion and Kat Henson. Champion had a grand slam and five RBI while Henson went 2-for-2 with a home run, a double and three RBI. Henson’s impressive day raised her batting average to .463, her slugging to .761, with an on base percentage of .616.
“She’s really hit the ball well this year,” Meadows said of Henson. “She’s definitely the leader on our team at the plate and has been all year.”
Beauregard played Dadeville Tuesday night and emerged victorious with a comfortable 14-6 win.
Now, the focus turns to sharpening up before next Thursday’s area tournament matchup with Tallassee.
Beauregard’s weekend slate includes some stiff competition against Elmore County (19-9; 6-0), 6A Wetumpka (30-12; 4-0) and Saint James (17-4; 2-0). Meadows said he is looking forward to the tests.
“It’s going to be pretty good competition which I told the girls yesterday,” Meadows said. “That will help prepare us a little more the area tournament.”