The Little Elm softball team is once again in the hunt for a potential playoff berth for the third straight year behind a plethora of key returners such as junior pitcher Lauren Lucas and senior Izzi Fielder.
The Lady Lobos are led by second-year head coach Jill Miller, and they are off to scorching start in District 8-5A behind just The Colony in the standings as the postseason nears.
The Little Elm Journal caught up with Miller this week to see how her second year at the helm in Little Elm has gone so far, and much more.
Year No. 2 for you at Little Elm is full swing. How would you say it has gone so far?
Miller:It has been a much more productive year than last year, and we are really gelling as a team. A big part of that is the entire staff coming back together giving the girls a little bit of trust and faith in their coaches. These girls also have another year of experience playing together, and they really get along well.
How dangerous is this team with a large bulk of returning starters from last year’s squad?
Miller:This team has only lost five games all year, so we look at ourselves as a dangerous team. We gave The Colony a good run, and our only other losses are to 6A teams.
The Lady Lobos have dominated each team in district not named The Colony. What challenges do the Lady Cougars bring and how valuable are those playoff-type matchups with one of the top teams in the state?
Miller:It helps us physically and mentally. Sure we made some physical mistakes against them this season, nobody goes out there and tires to make them, but it’s about learning how to become a better team when we face htta situation again in the playoffs. We decided that we’re going to work hard and teams like The Colony help make us mentally stronger as well.
Junior pitcher Lauren Lucas is once again having another fantastic season in the circle and at the plate. How has her game elevated since you came to Little Elm last season?
Miller:She is a great leader out there and knows what to do. She told me her goal was to take better command of calling her own game, and she has done a great job of doing that. She and Georgia Heathcock have worked great together, which helps us out a lot.
With Lauren being so smart and being such a great softball player, it really takes a lot of pressure off of us that way.
At the plate she is just almost unstoppable. She is going to fight and fight to get on base and help her team out any way that she can. She’s also dangerous on the bases running as well, she does it all.
How critical has the edition of freshman Georgia Heathcock been?
Miller:She has been great for us. I watched her some last summer to see what she was going to do, and we knew coming in that she was going to make an immediate impact on our team. We knew we were going to hit her in the power part of our lineup, and we knew she was going to be ether at third base or catching.