March 20, 2014

Chicks hope to spark offense on trip

Adam Troxtell
The Express-Star


The Fightin' Chicks will spend their spring break on the diamond, but not within the confines of Elliott Field.

This week Chickasha heads southeast where they'll face two teams from Louisiana and one from the far reaches of East Texas. Aside from what they hope will be warmer, more spring-like weather, Chickasha will face some stiff competition with their undefeated start to the season on the line.

"We're going to play some good teams down there; we always do," head coach Brad Gore said. "That's kind of the reason we go, other than getting south for some good weather."

There certainly will be that. Chickasha gets some mostly clear skies in the low 70s for games against Loyola Academy in Shreveport, La., today at 7 p.m. and Menard Central in Alexandria, La., on Friday at 1 p.m. They round out the trip Saturday in a noon start against Henderson High School in Henderson, Texas, with a slight chance of thunderstorms.

Away from home against tough opposition, Gore said the trip should also serve as a unique bonding experience and go a long way toward helping Chickasha start to gel.

"It's when the guys can put it all together. Instead of going to school and then play, we can all be together, play, and build our team," Gore said.

In home games against Altus and Weatherford last week, hitting — something Gore said he expects the team to struggle with early on — wasn't a big issue, but for different reasons.

The Fightin' Chicks strung together a big four-run third inning that helped them sweep Altus in the first district encounter of the season. When Weatherford came to town, Chickasha wasn't able to repeat their efforts from three days before, but they still squeaked out a 2-0 win behind solid defense and good pitching.

"I like the way our team is starting to come together," Gore said. "We aren't near where we need to be, but we're finding ways to win games, doing the little things right, and getting some good pitching. That's two games in a row we've thrown the ball extremely well."

Duncan awaits Chickasha for another district series when they return home on March 24. If the road trip goes as well as Gore expects, Chickasha could start to see an upward trend in offense while maintaining that solid defensive start.

"These guys have been together for a long time but there's nothing like spending the night in the same room and being around each other all of the time," Gore said. "It's good for our team, and we're thankful that we get to go on those kind of trips here."