Future looks bright for Excel softball despite inexperience
by Jason Greenberg
Aug 13, 2013 | 773 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Excel Christian Academy’s Chad Parker is taking on plenty of responsibility in the school’s athletic department this year. He is both the new athletic director and baseball coach.

However, the most daunting task for the first-year Eagle will likely be coaching a softball team returning zero starters and primarily made up of freshman after Excel went 0-11 in 2012 and did not have enough players to finish the season.

Still, Parker believes it would be a mistake to sleep on his young team.

“I’m really excited about it. I think we’ll win our fair share of games, absolutely,” Parker said. “We had a really, really good ninth-grade class. We will have a couple of 10th-, 11th- and 12th-graders sprinkled in and the next year we have a lot of really good eighth-graders coming up, so the future really is bright.”

Parker is especially looking forward to seeing his two young pitchers.

“We have two pitchers and we are really excited about them,” Parker said. “Aliza Baker and Shay Sullins are both ninth-graders and very dynamic. They are very good.”

The pitching is not the only part of Parker’s team he is excited about and indicates a bright future for Excel.

Parker believes the bats are ready to help the Eagles win games as early as this season.

“We’ve got Lexie Adams, who is a ninth-grader. She will be our cleanup hitter,” Parker said, “and then we have Aliza Baker and Shay Sullins, who are both really good hitters.”

The middle of the infield will also be a strong suit in the lineup and will be made up of more young players.

Brighton McCollum will be the shortstop and leadoff hitter.

“She’s a ninth-grader, too, and she’s really talented and fast,” Parker said of McCollum. “She has a lot of talent and a lot of experience.”

Sophomore Andrea Taylor will make up the second half of the double-play combination, although her strength is her bat.

“She’s a really strong hitter,” Parker said. “We should score our fair share of runs with this lineup.”

Of course, a potential problem for the Eagles will be lack of experience. Out of the team’s 11 players, seven are freshman.

“I think we’ll win our fare share of games, but we will mostly focus on development for the future,” Parker said. “The experience level as far as their mental makeup is the most challenging thing. Girls who have been there, done that, they know what to expect and they know how to handle themselves and handle situations. And the ones who have not been there, they don’t know how to handle those situations.”