Lady Yoe softball prepares to take next step

After a week of practice, Lady Yoe head coach Abe Vargas and his team saw their first live action of the year in a scrimmage versus the Troy Trojanettes on Monday night from the Mark Humble softball complex in Cameron. 


“We did a lot of good things,” said Vargas after Monday night’s scrimmage.  “There is a lot of work we still have to do.  Like I told the ladies, the biggest improvement I saw was our mentality.  They hit the ball hard but we never got down on ourselves.”


Cameron will feature a young, but experienced roster in 2017.  This includes two key seniors in Zabrian Sowders (P) and Daniella Hill (SS). 


Sowders was one of Cameron’s mainstays in the circle, pitching 15 games, coming away with a 5-4 record and 22 strikeouts in 50 innings. Hill hit .286 in 2016 and was fourth on the team with 14 runs driven in. 


Elsewhere, Cameron will have six juniors and one sophomore on the roster to make-up the eight returning starters. 


“I believe that even though our team is still young, having a year of experience will be our strength,” said Vargas.


Sophomore C/3B Kenzie Wimmer had a banner freshmen season. The newcomer hit .444 and had 12 doubles, 4 home runs and drove in 24 runs.  All of those stat categories were good enough for at least a tie for the team high.


Karla Martinez (.429, 5 2B, 13 RBI), Brittney Moorer (.375, 4 2B, 22 RBI), Maddy Humble (.333, 3 HR, 17 RBI), Marquazia Workman (.234, 8 RBI) and Alexis Vargas (.250, 3 RBI) are all juniors returning to the lineup. 


Humble tossed 68.3 innings for Cameron.  In her sophomore season, Humble struck out 65 batters, walked 55, and had a 5.12 earned run average. 


With a majority the lineup returning, including the top two pitchers, improvement is expected in pretty much every facet of the game.  


“Offensively and defensively we need to continue to improve from last year,” said Vargas.  “I think our ability to finish games mentally needs to improve. We had a couple of games where we were either ahead or close enough to win that we let slip by.  That was partly due to our lack of mental toughness.  This is a learning process for our team.”


Cameron remains in 20-3A with the likes of Franklin, Hearne, Jarrell, Lexington, Academy, Rockdale and Rogers.  Troy was the lone team to shift from 20-3A to 19-3A, while Jarrell jumps in from 25-3A.  Academy won the district a season ago.  Franklin was second, Rogers was third, and Troy was fourth.


The Lady Bees advanced the furthest in the playoffs, and fell to eventual state champion West in the third round.  As usual, the district appears to be deep and challenging.


“Our district will be a tough district,” said Vargas.  “We lost a tough Troy team from our district but gained Jarrell.  Every team that made the playoffs last year will be returning the nucleus of their team. Even the teams, including us that were right there on the bubble of making the playoffs will be just as competitive. So it will be a battle again this year to make the playoffs.”


Cameron will scrimmage Snook at home (5:00 p.m.) on Friday and will be at Killeen (12:30 p.m.) on Saturday.  The ladies will also be on the road at Copperas Cove on Tuesday (7:00) and home on Friday (6:30) versus Milano to close out the scrimmage schedule.


Cameron will open the regular season on the road at Bryan High on February 14.