After three years of not taking the field, the Stuart Pepper Middle School Softball program is back in full swing and made a huge statement in their home opener against Edmonton MS, on Aug. 8 at Meade Olin Park. The program has only one season under their belt due to the COVID restrictions that were implemented after their first season.
“The middle schoolers that we have playing today haven’t had the chance to play middle school ball since the program began because of the two-year break,” Head Coach Elizabeth Youart explained. “The girls who first began the program are now high schoolers and a part of the high school team.”
Since they announced that the program will start up again this year, Youart says that the program is a little behind. They got a late start but have had a lot of girls tryout for the team. The team has been putting in a lot of hard work at practices which is definitely building a team to carry on the Lady Wave tradition of winning.
“We have been putting in as many fundamental drills and plays as we can in a short period of time to get the girls ready to play. We have actually lucked out by not having to go all the way back to basics with a good number of girls already playing on travel ball teams,” Youart said of the team’s quick turnaround. Youart says that having about half the team already experienced and been playing, they are able to help the newer girls which helps out and actually creates a closer team bond. Youart also says having those experienced players has allowed them to have a deep roster. Right now, she says they have about 7-8 strong pitchers that can be ready to go in at any time, starting or in relief. A good team needs to also be strong at putting runs on the board to back that strong pitching up, and the SPMS Ladywaves have got just that.
In the team’s first game of the season, SPMS plated nine runs in the first inning, and added another four in the second, to take the win by a score of 13-0. Middle school softball consists of five innings, so after two, the 10-run rule goes into effect. Youart explained that middle school softball is relatively new and finding games so late was difficult, but the team managed to schedule two home games this season with their second game taking place on Sept. 2 against Whitesville Trinity MS.