July 3, 2013

Lady Chicks open Denver tourney with pair of wins

Adam Troxtell
The Express-Star


The thin, mountain air has been kind to Chickasha softball this week, as they began a tournament their with two big wins before taking time to enjoy one of Colorado's main attractions.

After arriving over the weekend, the Lady Chicks got down to business Tuesday and showed their recent surge in offense is not bound to Oklahoma. They began play with a 9-4 win over a Minnesota team before taking down the local Ft. Collins Stars 12-4.

While the hitting was definitely there, head coach Dennis Furr said he saw a few things he'd like his team to fix before heading into later games.

"We played alright," Furr said about the team's first two games. "Honestly, we should have scored a few more runs. We also made a few mistakes we don't usually make. I don't know if it was nerves from playing in a big tournament or what."

Wednesday was an off day for the team, providing the girls and their families a chance to bond by enjoying Colorado's famous outdoors.

"We'll go rafting in the morning, do the zip line, and things like that in the outdoors. We do come up here to play, but you've got to remember it's also like a vacation for a lot of them and their families."

Furr said the trip has given his team the chance to become an even closer group and improve team chemistry.

"It's a good time for the girls," Furr said. "This is a close knit group already, but we do spend a lot of time together whether it's going out to eat, catching a movie, or hanging out in the hotel."

During the games, Furr said the weather doesn't affect his team too much as they stick to their game plan instead of looking for big hits in the thinner Colorado air. He admits players will exhaust more easily at that altitude.

But, when it comes down to game time, he said he is confident his players can regroup and get the job done.

"This group is pretty good and mature about knowing what they're here for," Furr said. "You do worry about where their focus is sometimes, but you just have to trust that when it comes down to it, they're in the right mindset."

The Lady Chicks play two Independence Day games, one against Ohio Blue Lazers and another from California-based USA Athletics. 

"[Ohio] won both of their games Tuesday, so they'll definitely be tough," Furr said. "The California team, I watched them some but I don't know how they did in their games. They definitely looked the part. We'll have to play better Thursday, that's for sure."

How they performed in these games will determine where they place going into bracket play, which begins Friday and runs through to Sunday.