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Preston coach optimistic about team next two years | Preston Citizen

Preston coach optimistic about team next two years

May 14, 2013
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By TERESA CHIPMAN

PHS sports writer

The Indian softball team played Pocatello at home in a double header on Tuesday, April 30 and lost both, 8-0 and 15-5.

“The game of if’s, coulda’s, shoulda’s and woulda’s is sometimes the mentality behind playing softball, not only for players, but for the most part of coaching,” said Coach Ashlee Larsen.

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“We came out to practice on Monday and junior Georgia Law broke her nose. She had to go to the emergency room at practice. So going into the game with Pocatello we had nine players.

“As a team on Tuesday we were in some sort of slump. We gave up both games that day to Pocatello, without even competing with them. I was not pleased with the way I coached that game and blame myself for our lack of enthusiasm to play that day.

“We had a hard week prior to playing Pocatello and I was wondering when my team’s mentality was going to come around.”

The Indians honored senior Lacee Rallison and her parents before the game.

The first round of the 4A Fifth-Sixth District tournament on Saturday, May 4, was a play-in game determining who would face top seed Blackfoot the following Tuesday.

The Indians travelled to Century and Larsen didn’t have any worries about her players’ mentality in this game.

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“It always comes around when you need it and that happened going into the district tournament,” said Larsen. “Being a one-and-done tournament for the bottom four teams, we knew it was going to be tooth and nail fighting for a spot to be able to compete in the double elimination tournament.”

Preston ended up losing in the seventh with a 5-4 loss, but they didn’t go down easy.

“We battled back being down in the sixth by a score of 4-0. We came into the game and hit right off the bat. We hit all over the outfield. We could just not find a hole to save us. Every girl hit well that day and all had a chance to be on the bases,” Larsen said.

“It’s hard to decide when to play small ball as a coach, when your players are hitting and you’re just waiting for them to hit a good spot. Such is the mental game of softball. We had an injury to our outfielder Kameron Swainston during the fifth inning, taking a line drive ball off the tip of her mitt, hitting and knocking out a front tooth and causing five stitches to her top lip.

“We rallied back though and put the score at 4-4 in the sixth. Freshman Ayla Wisebeck laid down a squeeze bunt play to bring home Shania Carlisle who was on third. Bases were loaded for three outs and we could just not pull off another run.”

Overall Larsen was pleased with the game and how well her team played.

“It was a lot of fun and the girls played very well. We did have a few errors on defense, and during these tournament games, if you slip one time it can hurt you big. I felt bad it was a one-and-done deal for these girls but we did have a great season. This team being so young, I get to return a team of nine back as varsity players. I can’t wait for the next two years. I feel we will be very competitive and our future is very bright.”

Preston’s Celisa Talbot catches a foul ball behind the plate for an out in a game against Pocatello recently.

Preston’s Celisa Talbot catches a foul ball behind the plate for an out in a game against Pocatello recently.

“I would like to thank all those who coached this year. Nick Hyde, assistant varsity coach, Kassie Galloway, junior varsity coach and Barrie Thompson for helping out on junior varsity. I would like to thank the administration for their support this year.

“We would all like to thank the field maintenance team Craig Kunz and Larry Hampton for all the help to keep up with the fields. We thank the public for coming out and supporting girls softball. The biggest supporters of all are the girls’ parents.”

This story is sponsored by Lava Hot Springs and Franklin County Road Department.


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