Usually around this time, Chickasha softball heads off to Colorado for an annual team tournament trip in the crisp mountain air.
This year, however, that won't happen, as many of the usual starters join other traveling teams and continue a summer full of softball play. It's provided for one big positive as the Lady Chicks softball summer schedule continued in that young players, some brand new to the team and others who spent last season on the fringes, have seen plenty of time in the field.
"There were times when, because so many of our players were on traveling teams, the younger kids got to play a lot," head coach Dennis Furr said. "It was a successful summer. Out of 20-25 games, we only lost twice."
There weren't many widespread issues identified this summer, Furr said, as the team batted well and put together a cohesive infield effort. The only problem area seemed to be in the outfield, but Furr said he's confident that, too, will be a strong area for the Lady Chicks when the season starts in August.
The summer was more about putting young players in game situations, and Furr said they shone brightly.
"Starting positions aren't earned in the summer," Furr said. "But, it is a good indicator what we'll have and which kids can come in and play those roles for us."
The nightly double headers provided for growth and noticeable improvement, Furr said. The Lady Chicks only lost three, albeit important, players from last season. Even with a large amount of returners, it's promising to see young players succeed so quickly, Furr said, and a sign the program is moving in the right direction.
"It's to the point where when we lose kids, we'll get someone who can step right in and play, or we can get even better," Furr said.
Chickasha softball will officially begin preparations for the fall season when practices begin July 30.