For multiple-sport athletes, the transition into spring sports can, at times, boil down to a tricky schedule.
Such was the case for Lawrence County softball, whose team considered starting its season late after three players competed in the Northwest Regional Basketball Tournament. A deep postseason basketball run would have overlapped with the Hillcrest Invitational in Tuscaloosa, which the team was preparing for.
Adrien Coffey, Whitney Woodard and Tori McDaniel play basketball in the winter and softball in the spring. As the weekend got closer, Red Devils softball coach Amy Speegle met with her team to decide what to do.
“I talked to them before we started, I called the seniors in, and they came to the decision that they didn’t want to start until they were all finished,” Speegle said. “They knew that whatever happened Tuesday would determine whether we would go or not.”
That Tuesday, Feb. 19, Lawrence County girls basketball ended its season with a 48-36 loss to Wenonah.
The softball team practiced the same afternoon, and Coffey, Woodard and McDaniel jumped right in the next day. The team competed in the Hillcrest Invitational as planned.
Woodard led off the weekend with a home run against Hoover to give the Red Devils the win.
“Those three are so athletic, they don’t miss a beat,” Speegle said. “Anybody sitting in the stands wouldn’t have known the difference.”
One last time around: For three girls soccer players, the countdown to the end of the season is bittersweet, though it’s only just begun.
Decatur’s Mariah Mort recently signed to play for the University of West Alabama and two Athens players, Grace Morgan and Klaire Phillips, signed to play at Alabama-Huntsville.
“I’m looking to get more prepared for college,” Mort said.
As the Red Raiders started the season with a record of 1-5, Mort said she is focused on how the team is competing and coming together.
“This year, since our team is not as strong as it has been, as a team, we all have to figure out what roles we play and where we fit in,” she said.
In 2012, Mort was named to The Decatur Daily’s all-area soccer team. Morgan and Phillips helped Athens reach the state finals for the first time in school history.
Games to watch this weekend: The River City rivalry hits the soccer fields, as the Black Bears host the Red Raiders boys at 6:30 p.m. today.
“It’s a huge rivalry,” said Decatur coach Aaron Batchelder, who is in his first year as head coach. “They are focused and eager to get it started.”
Forward Carlos Carbajal leads Decatur (2-2). He has five goals on the young season. Midfielder Deacon Iverson and keeper Max Ackley have helped keep opponents scoreless in two games this year.
If the weather cooperates, Athens and Austin baseball face each other for the second time this year in a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m. Friday at Austin.
The Golden Eagles (2-2) topped Austin (2-2) during the preseason, ending the game 9-3 in the East Limestone/Athens Preseason Tournament.
Meredith Qualls can be reached at 256-340-2395 or email@example.com.
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