Monday, March 30, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Carlisle girls strong in their two games

Leader sportswriter

The Carlisle Lady Bison softball team entered spring break this week with a 2-0 record, and would’ve won its 2A-6 Conference opener last week had it not been rained out in the second inning.

Due to the recent winter weather and rainfall, the Lady Bison didn’t play their first game until March 16, when they beat Class 4A Riverview 3-2. The next day, the Carlisle softball team played another nonconference game against England, and won that game by the final score of 19-9.

Carlisle began its conference opener last week against Augusta, and led 10-0 before that game was rained out in the second inning. Even though they’ve been on spring break this past week, the Carlisle girls still had a few practice sessions in preparation for their busy schedule next week.

“We’re practicing this week,” said Carlisle coach Lonnie Roberson on Tuesday. “We’ll practice (Wednesday), Thursday and Sunday. Then next week, we’ve got Lonoke on Monday, KIPP Delta on Tuesday, which will now be our conference opener.

“Then Thursday we’ll play Clarendon and on Friday we’ll go to the Lonoke tournament and play Searcy in the first round of that tournament. We’re excited to get out and play. Getting out and playing has been a problem with the weather this year. That’s made it hard to get out there.”

Carlisle’s softball team is young this year – starting a lot of freshmen and sophomores. Taylor Mealler is the lone senior on the team. She’s also Carlisle’s ace in the circle. 

“We’re young,” Roberson said, “but being young is a good thing because they’re just going to continue to get better.”

Roberson has also been pleased with the play and progress of his second pitcher, sophomore Maggye McCallie.

“She’s gotten tremendously better this year as far as her specialty pitches and she really bats well,” Roberson said.

Roberson mentioned shortstop Ashby Perry and first baseman Kylie Warren as some of the key players in his infield, but a lot of his players have just recently gotten re-introduced to the game.

“We’ve got several girls that haven’t played in a while,” Roberson said. “We’ve got Kylie Warren starting at first base. She hasn’t played softball in a long time, but she’s really picked up. My shortstop, Ashby Perry, she’s our leadoff batter and is a really good player for us.”

Roberson said he’d like to see his team be more productive at the plate, but pointed out Emily Merritt as one of the team’s better hitters. Roberson also calls Merritt one of the more versatile players on the team, as far as in the field.

“She’s probably one of our best hitters right now,” Roberson said. “She’s a girl that you can count on to come up and hit. She can play just about anywhere on the field, and she can hit the ball really well.”

Despite its youth, Carlisle is among the top teams in the 2A-6 Conference this season, along with Hazen and Des Arc, and Roberson said he’d really like for his group to be able to compete against those rivals for the top spot in the league by the end of the regular season.

“We really want to compete with Hazen,” Roberson said. “Hazen’s our biggest rival in conference. We’d love to beat them. We’d love to beat Des Arc. We want to beat them all. We shouldn’t have any problems beating the other teams, but those two will be tough games for us.”

The Carlisle softball team will play host to Lonoke in a nonconference game Monday. That game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.