COVINGTON — Playing as a team will be a key if the Lady Rams are to obtain a goal of becoming the Region 2-AAAAAA champions.
“We want to see our team come together as a true team for the first time in a long time. We’ve really been working on team building, exercises and we really want to see that on the field while they’re playing,” first-year head coach Ashley Coles said.
Coles, who had been an assistant to former head coach Virginia Waters, is taking over as head coach for the Newton softball team.
“We all love Virginia Waters. The girls love her and I respect her,” Coles said. “I just think that with the coaching change being an in-house thing the girls responded well because they know our coaching style and they know what we expect.
Helping Coles in coaching duties is her father, Gregg Cowan, who has helped Waters for the past few seasons.
“I think my dad and myself are able to express ourselves now having more say so in what’s going on,” Coles said. “I think the girls like the changes that we’ve made and are responding well to it.”
The Lady Rams, who were the No. 3 seed from Region 2-AAAAAA last season, only lost one player giving Coles hope that they will be able to step up to take the crown. Giving Coles hope is that fact that she now has two pitchers at her disposal as well as some power hitters and a lot of speed.
As a freshman last season, Maddie Cronic led the Lady Rams to the state playoffs and nine wins. But the addition of freshman Brittney Ellis this season will give Cronic some time to rest her arm as well as take some pressure of her when she is in the circle. This lack of pressure and ability to rest will hopefully translate into a more effective pitcher.
One of the players that they are counting on to provide some power is catcher Ashley Weesner.
“We have tons of speed. Depending on the position in our lineup, I feel like we can bunt and get on a few times because we have such fast girls,” Coles said. “I also think that our bunting is going to be pretty precise to where if we have a fast runner on base we’ll be able to get her over and maybe not take one base but take two bases.
“I think we have the tools to win this year with two pitchers. That’s something we haven’t had in the past. We have a few catchers on the team and a lot of utility players that play well in different positions. That really helps us when it comes to choosing who to play where during different games. I think that will help us win.”
Having only lost one player from last year’s team and with the loss of Luella, Coles feels that they have a change to win region even with the addition of Tucker and Lakeside, DeKalb.
“I feel like our chances to win region are pretty good. From what I’ve seen us and Alcovy are going to be the tougher teams in the region but I feel like we have a good chance to beat Alcovy,” Coles said. “I know in the past we’ve done well against this team that we’ll be playing so I think we’ll continue to do well against them this year.”