The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Lady Bears had a great season last year winning the district championship without a loss in district. The playoff run was unexpectedly short for the Lady Bears as they were eliminated in the first round. Coach Dena Adkins has several of the Lady Bears returning from that excellent team. Starting catcher Olivia Leavings is back for her fourth year on the Little Cypress-Mauriceville varsity. Megan Peveto will be in the outfield. Bailey Frenzel pitched in a backup role last season, but is being counted on now as the starter.
In the middle infield will be Madeline Stephenson playing mostly shortstop and some at second base. Adkins added, “Carly Cogar, Payten Smith these are seniors that played some varsity last year, so I have a good core group coming back.”
Adkins’ job the next few weeks will be working up a lineup that will make Little Cypress-Mauriceville competitive in a tough district. The Lady Bears have played some scrimmages that the coach has used to observe her girls.
Adkins has seen some good things out of everybody in the field and at bat. She is still looking to place players in their strongest defensive positions. “It’s still in the making, I can’t really say for sure yet what it’s going to look like on the lineup,” Adkins admitted.
Many of the Lady Bears worked through the off season to improve their hitting, and Adkins says it shows. A move-in that Adkins expects to swing a big bat is Savanna Beard. She swings from the left side and has speed to beat out infield dribblers.
Hitting has been a strength for the Lady Bears, and Coach Adkins anticipates the same this year with more of an emphasis for getting on base instead of hitting the long ball. Adkins suggested, “Might have a little different dynamic at the plate this year, and maybe not so much power, but a little finesse and get some base runners so my few power hitters can hit them in.”
Little Cypress-Mauriceville lost its top pitcher Brianna Frenzel from last year, but Adkins has more good arms to retire opposing hitters. She still has a Frenzel in Bailey who will see a lot of time in the circle. Karson Friar is a lefty who is splitting time with Frenzel in the scrimmages and is looking good.
A sophomore Camdyn Shugart has looked promising in the circle as another pitching prospect. Adkins said, “She will see some time there as well.”
The Lady Bears will be playing this year to repeat as district champions. Adkins told the girls early that she wants them to have a relaxed and positive year. She wants to keep things fun for the team, but as usual when they step on the field the main goal is to win and the coach expects that from the Lady Bears.
Coach Adkins evaluated the prospects for this season. “I do feel like there’s a lot less pressure on this group of girls, so that’s going to help I think with the win loss record,” Adkins concluded.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-