In 2011, the Borger Lady Bulldog softball team took a big step by advancing to the area round of the 3A playoffs.
Due to having a year of growth for a promising group of underclassmen and six players returning from last yearâ€™s varsity squad, the Lady Bulldogs go into the 2012 season with expectations to be able to compete for a district title and make a run in the playoffs come May.
In his four years leading the Lady Bulldogs, Head Coach Steve Watkins has seen the program come a long way, saying, â€śWe have seen tremendous improvement and growth in the program. Going from a one-win season to being area qualifiers last year, now the bar is set for this year and upcoming seasons.â€ť
There is no question the loss to Andrews in the playoffs was disappointing. Watkins feels it showed the younger players what is needed to be able to be a team that can make it deep into the playoffs. Watkins said, â€śI think our kids learned a valuable lesson, do the little things right. Once you make it a couple of rounds deep into the playoffs, everyone is good. It boils down to who does the little things right, like base running, busted assignments, and mental and physical errors.â€ť
Returning from last yearâ€™s team are Lauren Hernandez, Dakota Karins, Alex Lopez, Taryn Karins, Desiree Jiminez, and Taylor Hickman.
The new faces on the varsity team include Payden Dompe, Becca Green, Kyla Baker, and Katie Ammerman.
At the plate, Hernandez, D. Karins, and T.Karins do a good job putting the ball in play, while Lopez and Green have the ability to hit the ball to the fence.
In the pitcherâ€™s circle, Hickman returns after starting several games for the Lady Bulldogs as a freshman and gives the team a solid south-paw to depend on. Also expected to see time pitching are Hernandez and Baker, giving the team solid depth in that area.
Entering the season, Watkins likes the effort he is seeing from the girls, saying, â€śThey are working hard. I have always told my players that effort, attitude, work ethic, and commitment are non-negotiable because you have got to have these qualities to be successful. The girls know what I expect and have bought into those expectations.â€ť
The Lady Bulldogs will officially open the 2012 season on Monday taking on West Texas High in Stinnett beginning at 4:00 p.m.