Profiling the BPCC softball team
The Bossier Parish Community College Lady Cavalier softball team is on a mission this year.
They work hard and are playing harder to make it to the the regional conference tournament for the 10th time.
The team finished 12-12 in conference play last season, securing the number four spot in the regional conference tournament. Head Coach Ashley Grisham said that appearance made number nine of 12 for BPCC since joining the Texas Region XIV Conference.
The Lady Cavs will play 20 conference games this year in against a heavy hitting lineup, including Navarro College, Northeast Texas Community College, Kilgore College, Trinity Valley Community College and Paris Junior College.
“It's a powerhouse,” Grisham said. “Is it tough? You bet.”
The Lady Cavs, currently 9-12, have had a slow start to the season, but are picking up the pace with each game. Grisham, in her 15th season as head coach, said the team has lost five games by just one run, which is something they are working hard to fix before conference play begins next week.
“We could easily be 14-7, but we're coming up just a little bit short,” Grisham said. “What we're missing is the ability to stop the mistake when it happens before it spirals out of control. We're working on ways to relax and get the ball moving to the next play.”
With six returning players and 13 freshmen, Grisham said the team is young but they have the heart of champions. The team, Grisham said, is strong in leadership, versatility and unity.
“They want to win, but not for themselves. They want it for the team,” she said. “This game is about working hard, but working hard together.”
Kacie Franklin, a sophomore majoring in criminal justice, knows the role versatility plays on the field. The Lake Charles native, who can be found on the pitchers mound and first base during game time, said she has seen quite an improvement in herself since her first game with BPCC.
“I've grown up so much in every aspect of my life, not just softball,” Franklin said.
MaryAnn “Mookie” Allison, a transfer sophomore from Hinds Community College, said
“I go where coach [Grisham] needs me to play,” Allison said. “I want us to do good in conference and make it to the regionals.”
Despite a few defensive errors, the Lady Cavs are making up for it on offense. Grisham said the team has strong hitters, leading the conference in batting average once already this season.
“We are hitting really good, but we're allowing teams to get too many runs,” she said. “If we hit the way we are capable of, we can win.”
The Lady Cavs will play four fewer games in conference this year due to the loss of programs at Lon Morris College and Texarkana College, Grisham said. Fewer games, however, mean every game counts more than ever.
To make the regional tournament this season, Grisham said the team needs to finish 14-6 in conference play.
“We are more than capable of doing that,” Grisham said. “Winning breeds winning and we need to start winning.”
Grisham said she is looking forward to the remainder of the season and watching each player develop a stronger love for the game.
“They work hard, they are respectful and they want to win.”
Franklin, who graduates in May, said she has high hopes for the team this season – her last as a Lady Cavalier.
“It's not about where you start, but where you finish,” she said. “We're just taking it one game at a time.”
Visit ww.bpcc.edu/softball to see a complete schedule of games.