This season, the Patriots started the season with three wins but proceeded to drop their next six games before a dominating 16-8 victory over Walker in their first region contest on Aug. 29. Since then, Mount Pisgah has not lost a region game and looks poised to make another run at the region tournament and playoffs in October.
“I see improvement every day from our players,” first-year head coach Jennifer Osborne said. “We’ve had powerhouse teams graduated five girls who earned college scholarships last season. This season, we have players who have never played softball before but they come to practice wanting to learn something.”
“The beginning of the season was slow because we have a lot of younger players but they’re getting better,” junior catcher Virginia Eith said.
The Patriots have benefited from the return of several veterans including All-state candidate, senior Jen Sapp who has a .383 batting average and has been a valuable pitcher, leading the team in earned run average (2.25). Fellow senior Courtney Condon leads Mount Pisgah in every offensive category, including batting average (.419), runs (27), hits (26) and home runs (5).
“We’ve played good competition that will help prepare us for the region tournament,” Sapp said.
The approach of the games hasn’t changed since the early struggles of the team. “We approach each game wanting to win,” Osborne said. “We’re playing about 12 players per game because I’m trying to put them in different situations and want them to know that I have full confidence in them.”
As the Patriots gain more distance from last year’s state title, the current group moves closer to its own goals. “Other than a few players, no one here has truly experienced what its like to be a state champion,” Osborne said.
“Brining them up to that level has been challenging but I think we’re capable of making a run in the postseason. We’re going to push as hard as we can.”
Mt. Pisgah returns to action on Sept. 26 at home against Mt. Paran.