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By Jimmie Earls
Sun Sports Writer
Mother Nature hasn’t been nice to Springfield so far in 2009, but that’s not going to stop the Washington County baseball and softball teams from taking the field next Monday.
Coach Derek Schuler’s Commanders open the season March 23 on the road against North Hardin, who is coming off a 5-21 season. Washington County finished 10-18 last year, but Schuler says that if things fall into place, the Commanders could do well this year.
“If we get good pitching, we’ll be alright,” said Schuler. “I’m happy with our younger guys, our freshmen. I think they’ll push the older guys and be able to help.”
After getting a new infield at Tom Bystrek Field, the Commanders are looking forward to the home opener on March 24 against Fort Knox.
“That’s also the Class A play-in game, so we need that game,” added Schuler. “That’s another reason why I hope we come out ready to go. We need everyone to come out and support us. If the team can step up and play the way I know they can, we’ll be OK.”
Coach Christy Baker’s Commanderettes, who finished 13-12 last year, also open the season on the road March 23 at Taylor County, who finished 25-6 and went undefeated in 20th District play.
“We’re looking OK,” said Baker. “It’s just one of those things where you have to get out in a game situation. Taylor County is a tough team. Usually the first game, both teams are working the kinks out, so hopefully we’ll come out for a good showing and see what we can do.”
The Commanderettes’ home opener takes place March 25 against Mercer County, who went 2-14 last year. Baker hopes everyone will come out and support the Commanderettes all season long.
She added, “It’s one of those things that can go either way, and we may start out slow and bring it in. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”