Lady Flyers beat Boyle, far from satisfied

By Brian Rickerd Published:

The Franklin County Lady Flyers stand 18-3, ranked 20th in the state, and coming off a convincing 8-1 win Wednesday over a good Boyle County team, but apparently no one in the blue and gold uniforms is satisfied.

“We can’t be satisfied,” FCHS coach Tracy Spickard said after a Boyle County game that followed a thrilling, 7-6, district win Tuesday at Woodford County. “Our record is strong, but we’ve still got to put some things together.”

Spickard said she’s seen signs that the Lady Flyers’ concentration is wavering heading into the final 14 games of the regular season.

“Over the last week, we’ve kind of taken a few steps backward as far as mental focus,” Spickard said. “We’ve played some good teams, don’t get me wrong, but now we’re coming down the stretch, and we’ve really got to step it up.”

Wednesday’s game vs. Boyle’s 14-11 Lady Rebels was a case in point in the very early stages.

Lauren Richards of Boyle County opened the top of the first inning with a double off of Franklin County senior pitcher Kara Howard.

Richards ended up on third after a passed ball, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Kalin Bottoms. The No. 3 hitter, Danielle Mason, then reached on an error by the Lady Flyers.

That brought Spickard to the mound for a brief discussion with several defenders, lobbying for an attitude adjustment.

“We came out flat,” said Spickard, who noted that she saw the same 24 hours earlier against Woodford. “The first three batters today, we had two errors defensively, and you just can’t have that against strong programs. So we had to call timeout and try to regain our focus a little bit.”

Franklin County accomplished that mission the rest of the way.

The Lady Flyers mustered just seven hits, but all of them were timely, leading to three runs in their half of the first, one run in the third, two in the fourth and two more in the sixth.

Sophomore Sydney Wiard hit three singles, senior Shelby Sanders slugged two doubles, senior Tori Zeigler had a double and Howard a single.

Defensively, Howard’s Lady Flyers were dominant over the final six innings.

Howard threw a four-hitter, with six strikeouts and no walks.

But, even at that, Howard wasn’t satisfied.

“I did OK,” said Howard, who’s pitched every inning this season. “It’s probably not the best performance that I’ve given, but the defense did a good job of having my back and really picking up when they did hit the ball.

“There were just times when I wasn’t hitting some spots, or maybe I wasn’t getting the call that I wanted,” Howard added. “But that’s the way the game is played. So when we go to practice tomorrow, I’ve got to tweak some things, and hopefully we’ll come out strong this weekend.”

Despite her immediate concerns, Spickard admits the potential is there for a strong postseason run.

“Absolutely, the potential is there and the talent is there,” she said. “But, again, we can’t be satisfied with what we’ve accomplished so far because we are not playing our best softball yet.Fortunately, we’ve got a stretch of the season left where we can prepare and get ourselves to the place where we want to be, and can be — peaking at the right time.”

Franklin County plays in the Vernon Bibb Memorial Tournament in Louisville Friday and Saturday, with action at both Assumption and Fern Creek.

The Lady Flyers play Collins Friday at 6 p.m.; Sacred Heart Saturday morning at 9; Assumption at noon; and Fern Creek at 4:30.

FCHS returns home Tuesday to host district rival Western Hills at 5:30.

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