Bearcats to play at Indians for first KMLJ Softball broadcast of season
The North Butler Softball team heads to Clarksville Thursday night for a clash of local area teams.
The Bearcats will face the Indians in the third and final game of a back-to-back-to-back. When looking at the matchup with Clarksville, North Butler Softball Head Coach Austin Guerrero says that mental focus will be the key.
“Clarksville is a tremendous ball club. Over the last five or six years they’ve had a tremendous team. A couple years ago I know they took it all the way down to the state tournament and won it and… we just gotta be locked in. Things that come down to it are, are you ready to go, and on the defensive end are you making the routine [plays] that need to be made and then coming to the offensive side of the ball… It’s just really being aggressive up at the plate. If you get a strike, we’re ready to hit it, we’re not out there looking for walks…”
Seniors Kiya Johnson and Kenzie Groen have got out to a strong statistical start this year, combining for over 13 hits in just the first four games. With a recent 6-4 win over Hampton-Dumont-CAL in game two of the season, Coach Guerrero says he was happy with the relentlessness his Bearcats showed.
“I was just really proud of our girls effort to never give up and continue to battle back and then put us ahead in that final frame two runs, and I was talking to our coaches after the game, I think that second run to get ahead six to four in that ninth inning is the one that put us over the top.”
Guerrero says that the beginning of the season has featured some mistakes with new players getting used to new positions.
“If you go through the box score in those ball games with Newman Catholic and Central Springs, who are two well coached ball clubs there, it really just comes down to we had a couple big innings where we had two or three mental mistakes…We’re replacing a lot of experience in last year's squad that had seven or eight seniors that all were starters.”
The Clarksville Indians are ranked #14 in Class 1A, and hold an undefeated record going into the contest with the Bearcats. Senior Cailyn Hardy and sophomore Emmalee Manwarren each have ten hits on the season already.
North Butler and Clarksville are set to square off at 7:00 p.m. The action can be heard on 104.9 KLMJ, as the pregame starts at 6:50 p.m.