The Felicity Lady Cardinals’ softball have gotten off to a great start in the 2012 campaign, winning each of their first four games by a combined score of 32-1.
“The pitching’s been good, the defense has been good and the bats have finally woken up,” Felicity coach Rob Wear said.
Their senior pitcher Montana Wear, who as a four-year varsity starter is approaching 1,000 career strikeouts, has led the Cardinals in their quick start.
“Montana is an unbelievable pitcher,” her father and coach, Rob, said. “She’s been hitting the ball well, too.
“She’s developed (over her four years on varsity) extremely well. She has an incredible work ethic. She pitches five days a week, every week.”
While Wear has been handling a large part of the load from the pitching circle, the rest of the Lady Cardinals are stepping up and doing their part as well.
Hilary “Scooter” White bats lead off for Felicity and Wear calls her the best catcher in the league.
“Scooter’s been great for us,” Wear said. “She’s a lefty who can drag bunt well and also hit the ball with authority.”
Aside from Felicity’s strength pitching and catching, the Lady Cardinals also boast a pretty strong outfield anchored by senior center fielder Brittany Sowers.
“Brittany can cover ground like a gazelle,” Coach Wear said. “Even when the ball is hit to right field, she’s over there backing them up, waiting on the ball to come down.”
Moving towards the plate from the outfield, Wear has a committee of girls that are versatile enough to move to different positions throughout the infield.
“Mackenzie Dunaway plays first for us and since our starting shortstop from last year didn’t return, we’ve moved some freshman to fill in the infield,” Wear said.
Makayla Jacobs, a freshman filled the shortstop opening and Scooter’s twin sister, Jordan White plays second base. Kelsey Mitchell rounds out the infield manning the hot corner at third.
While Wear gives a lot of credit to his players for the quick start, he also was quick to point out the help of his assistant coach Donnie Hall and what he’s meant to the Felicity softball program.
Hall, who also teaches at the school, was supposed to be the junior varsity coach, but when some players were lost to academic ineligibility, Wear and Hall combined the teams to field a 13-man varsity roster.
With five freshman coming in this season, Hall was in charge of taking the young group and getting them ready to play varsity ball in just three weeks.
“He’s a tremendous asset to the Felicity-Franklin softball team,” Wear said. “He’s always there and the first to help if I ask.
“He might be listed as an assistant coach, but both the team and I know that there is no head coach/assistant coach – it’s just us two coaches.”
The Lady Cardinals defeated New Richmond in their latest game on Monday, April 9 14-1.
The one run was unearned and Montana Wear recorded 15 strikeouts. Wear also hit a homerun that, according to Rob Wear, was the first to be hit out of the new New Richmond facility.
Although the Lady Cardinals have found it hard to schedule games due to their recent success, Coach Wear said the team would continue to do what it can to play its best and make some noise during their run in the post-season.
“I think we can go deep into the playoffs, if not be state contenders,” he said. “To be honest, I think it could down to our game against CNE (in the playoffs).”
The two teams atop their respective divisions in the Southern Buckeye Conference are not scheduled to face off in the regular season, but seem destined to cross paths on their road to state.