Liberty County High School softball coach Jerome Standard knows it is a rebuilding season for the Lady Panther squad.
That made last weekend’s Warriors’ Blast Tournament a great experience for his younger players, he said. The Lady Panthers lost game one against Wheeler, 13-5, but earned their first win of the season by beating North Hampsted, Savannah’s new high school, 10-9.
The Panthers went up against experienced squads in their next three games, falling to Portal, 17-12; Southeast Bulloch, 17-0, in three innings against; and Claxton, 7-2, which was the Panthers’ second loss to the Tigers this season.
Standard said two of his veteran starters, sisters Victoria and Gabriela Anthony, missed the tournament due to an out-of-state family matter. That meant LCHS started five freshmen, one sophomore, one junior and two seniors.
“It seems like the scores sound bad … We knew we were going to a gun fight with a butter knife, but it was fantastic because our kids got to see a lot of things, a lot of good teams, some that weren’t so good, and everyone got a lot of chances at the plate and a lot of chances to field balls,” Standard said.
He said Lori Harden started as the Lady Panthers’ pitcher before developing a blister on her foot, which left her unable to pitch. Rachel Smith, a junior varsity pitcher, got some time on the varsity mound.
“It turned out to be a good experience for her, and she ended up making the all-tournament team,” Standard said. “So did Lori Harden.”
Standard said they have one specific goal for the season.
“At every game, each player is to try and get a little bit better in order to make the team better as a whole,” Standard said.
Liberty is preparing for a tournament this weekend. The Lady Panthers will travel to Statesboro for the Battle of the ‘Boro at Mills Creek Park.
Battle in the ‘Boro schedule
LCHS vs. Treutlen, 3:30 p.m.
LCHS vs. Dublin, 8 p.m.
LCHS vs. Cross Creek, 9 a.m.
Bracket play begins afterwards