July 11, 2013

Fightin' Words: Summer signifies softball success


It's safe to say by now that Chickasha will have much to look forward to when the real seasons kick off for baseball and softball.

The summer has provided a clear enough window into how the teams shape up going into their respective seasons, and youth is a common factor. Unfortunately, with the upside of longevity with a young team comes the downside that youth often breeds inconsistency. Some of that was evident in both teams' summer seasons. It begs the question of who will be able to take what they've achieved this summer and translate it to a better season. 

My vote has to fall on the ladies' side, and for good reason.

Looking at the Fightin' Chicks baseball team, I see many good things. They'll have two fantastic fielders and batters in Luke Dixon and Derek Sullivan, seniors that will no doubt be responsible for leading the team. Their absence from the recent Chickasha tournament was evident, while the young squad that defended the Chicks' home turf did a decent job to fill that gap.

As was pointed out earlier this summer, Brock Henderson is the archetype star in the making. He has the talent, he's shown it this summer and with a top-ranked tournament team in the Oklahoma Cardinals, and he has bravely taken on the ranks of high school ball with the utmost confidence. Mainly a pitcher, he showed throughout the summer, but mostly over the past few days, that he can easily switch and do just as good a job at third or shortstop. Versatility is in his blood, and his performance at the plate points to Henderson's all-round baseball abilities.

But, as I said, his main job is pitching. Combined with other young players like Brooks Bush, Brandon Shumway and Braden Beldin, this is a very youth-filled rotation. Against Binger, Henderson, undoubtedly the leader of the stirling line of prospects, showed he still has a little more learning to do after the Bobcats took a 7-0 lead out of the first two innings. In the story I wrote about him, Henderson said he has been working on developing a larger variety of pitches to get around situations like this. That development continues.

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