Improve would be the best word to describe what Adairsville’s young squad hopes to do again in 2013 as the team returns six players and one senior on the roster for second-year coach Kandace Bruno.
“We are extremely young. I have one senior and two juniors,” Bruno said. “We’re not really going to look at success in the win and loss columns. We’re going to take it day by day and make sure we are working hard and getting better every single game.”
With a young team, Bruno’s focus on improvement will be essential in order to develop the talent pool as the season progresses.
“We’re just working on getting better every game in all aspects, the little things and the big things,” she said. “We have to get the girls to understand what we are trying to do and we’re depending on our returners to teach the new girls in what were trying to do. We’re just trying to get better and make them have a better understanding of the game.”
One opportunity Bruno has with her players is the ability to play them at multiple positions and have some flexibility in the lineup.
“Most all of my players are working hard at more than one position,” she said. “Our lineup is probably not going to be the same in all the games. It depends on how we’re feeling that day and how the girls have been doing.”
This flexibility is especially advantageous with the Lady Tigers’ situation in the pitcher’s circle.
“We lost both of our pitchers, so obviously we’re looking for players to fill that position,” Bruno said. “Everybody’s equal. There’s no main one. It’s just what’s best for the team on that given day. They can start one day and not start the next.”
Last season, Adairsville compiled an 8-20 overall record and went 5-7 in its region.
The Lady Tigers lost Taylor Weeks, a shortstop, who tied for the team lead in batting average in hitting .333 last season. She was named to The Daily Tribune News all-county team and will be playing college ball at the University of Pikeville in the spring.
However, Adairsville does have talent among the players who are returning.
Mallorie Collum is the lone returning senior and will be counted on to provide leadership.
“She had one of the highest batting averages on the team last year,” Bruno said. “She is a very clutch hitter and comes through in those situations.”
The Tigers return two more starters in Victoria Davis and Morgan Creel.
“She can really hit. She always hits the ball hard,” Bruno said of Creel. “They’ve all been working hard.”