A couple of weeks ago, The Colony softball team was looking to dig itself out of a rough start to the season.
The Lady Cougars won just one of their first 13 games – five losses by at least six runs to go along with two games that ended in ties – but, lately, it’s been The Colony that has won in dominant fashion.
The latest triumph was an 11-1 rout of Sherman on Tuesday, which marked the third straight victory for The Colony (4-10-2 overall, 3-2 District 10-5A). The Lady Cougars hit three home runs, including a grand slam by sophomore Sydney Young.
“We definitely have big bats on our team,” Young said. “We’ve been doing really good offensively. Everyone on our team contributes to it.”
A mistake by the Bearcat defense set up the first score.
A routine fly ball that was hit by Young was misplayed by a Sherman infielder and dropped to the field, allowing junior Olivia Wick, who drew a walk to lead off the home half of the second, to cross home plate.
Another defensive mistake by Sherman in the second inning led to even bigger things for The Colony.
A pop fly that Lady Cougar junior Kailee Lang hit into shallow left field dropped between four Bearcat defenders for a lead-off single.
It only opened the floodgates for the Lady Cougars.
A bunt single by Madison Levsey and a walk drawn by Wick loaded the bases for Young, who crushed a grand slam over the center-field fence to give The Colony a commanding 5-0 lead.
The Lady Cougars weren’t done hacking away just yet.
In the third inning, sophomore Kaitlyn Moeller and Wick each clubbed a two-run home run to increase The Colony’s lead over Sherman to 9-0. Moeller added an RBI single in the home half of the fourth.
Young delivered a stellar pitching performance, yielding just one run on four hits with zero walks in a complete-game effort. Being a starting pitcher is a different role for Young, who, along with Moeller, backed up Jayda Coleman last year.
Jayda, the 2019-20 Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year and the daughter of The Colony head coach Deana Coleman, is now fielding balls and hitting home runs for the University of Oklahoma. The Cougars also lost another huge piece from last year’s team to graduation in catcher Jacee Hamlin, a freshman at Texas Tech.
While Coleman and Hamlin were helping to lead the Lady Cougars to a record of 15-3-1 before the rest of the 2020 season was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were other players who were getting their first true experience of playing varsity softball.
Moeller, Levsey, Young and catcher Payton Blanco were all freshmen a year ago. Although The Colony played in 20 games, they only played in one game that lasted seven innings. Every other game was in a tournament and lasted a maximum of five innings.
Fast forward to this year, and the youth movement continues for the Lady Cougars.
The Colony has four freshmen: Allyson Acosta, Betty Jo Camacho, Leanna Guerra and Sabrina Wick. The only two seniors on the team are Carlie Goldy and Brooklyn Torres, but they are just returning to form. Goldy made her season debut at the beginning of March after recovering from surgery. Torres started her first game of the season Tuesday. Lang, a junior, didn’t start on varsity during the 2020 season.
Goldy, along with junior Olivia Wick, are used to playing 40 games per season. In fact, they were on the 2019 team that was a state semifinalist.
Coach Coleman likes how the pieces are coming together after going through some struggles early on in the season.
“They just need to play,” she said. “We get snowed out the first tournament. Then, rain cuts everything and delays it. So, they’re still so young. But, I was hoping as we start to play and get those innings in and start to get that experience, everything will start to come together. The talent level is there. They just need to play games.”