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Having concluded preseason preparations, including rain-interrupted scrimmages along the way, the York Comprehensive High School girls softball team jumped into regular-season play in a huge way this week.
After hosting Rock Hill and Chester earlier in the week, the Lady Cougars travel to Fort Mill Friday for a Region 3-AAAA showdown in Yellow Jacket Country.
Following Friday’s game, which has a 7 p.m. start, the YCHS girls will host Lancaster in another region confrontation Tuesday at the YCHS softball complex. The Tuesday game is slated for a 7 p.m. start.
“The kids are molding together as a team,” said head coach Susan Lee Ballard following last week’s scrimmage with visiting Chapman on a chilly night at the softball complex.
“We’re working on our pitching game,” Ballard said of the early-season adjustments teams make before plunging into regular-season play. “A key for us is to hit the ball. We’ve got to have enough offense when we get into region play.”
Ballard likes the attitude and commitment of the 2013 version of Lady Cougar softball.
“The kids come ready to play every day,” she said. “It’s a good group to work with.”
Ballard predicts Region 3-AAAA will be strong again this year.
“We’re familiar with the teams in the region,” said Ballard. “The kids are working hard and have potential.”
Senior mainstays Jessica Bolin and Hanna Wilkerson are optimistic about their final season wearing a Cougar uniform.
Bolin, a school ball participant since the seventh grade, is an outfielder who appears to be working her way back into the pitching rotation. “I haven’t pitched in two years,” she said. “It’s a challenge, but I’m up to it.”
Bolin said the Lady Cougars have some work to do at this stage of the season.
“We’re making progress as we prepare for regular season and region competition,” Bolin said.
Wilkerson, who’s played school ball since the eighth-grade, is a pitcher/first-baseman for the YCHS team. “We’re working hard and look forward to competing in the region,” the senior hurler said.
Wilkerson finds herself in the role of providing senior leadership this season.
“I want to help the younger players on the team,” she said. “I feel we have the talent to compete in the region. We made progress in the preseason.”