Lady Cats Softball Coach David Carrillo begins his thirteenth season in Sulphur Springs Friday (January 18), the first day softball teams are allowed to practice. He has an overall record here of 269-129. Coach Carrillo has made the playoffs here every year since the 2008 season.
He said he’s excited about the coming season and he thinks the Lady Cats’ players are too. He has ten seniors and he said he has had great relationships with them over the years. Coach Carrillo said there is a sense of urgency for them because it’s their last year. He said he will again stress a team motto of team first and self second. Coach Carrillo said it worked out well last year. The Lady Cats went 28-7, won the district championship and make it all the way to the Regional Quarterfinals before losing to eventual state champion Forney.
He said he has a couple of big holes to fill this season. Gone are speedy lead off centerfieler Alyssa Abron and steady catcher Macee Hollins. Coach Carrillo said he has the players to fill the holes but it remains to be seen if they can carry the load like Abron or Hollins.
One of the ten seniors is pitcher Bailey Hagerty, who has pitched on the varsity since she was a freshman. Coach Carrillo called her a fierce competitor. Tessa Holt also had some good moments in the pitching circle last season. He said freshman Addison Caddell will also get a chance to pitch.
The Lady Cats return some good hitters and fielders. Among these are left fielder Sadie Stroud, shortstop Kelsey Wallace and first baseman Brinkley Driver. Coach Carrillo said a big home run Driver hit at McKinney North in the playoffs last season may still be rising. Last season’s District Newcomer of the Year, second baseman Sierra Smith, also returns. Other returnees include designated player Landri Bell, a senior, junior outfielder Alli Fite and junior infielder Kate Womack.
The Lady Cats have been giving the opportunity by the UIL to have an early scrimmage. On Saturday, January 26 the Lady Cats will be traveling to Pittsburg at noon to scrimmage the Lady Pirates and Longview. It will be the first of six scrimmages for the Lady Cats that include match ups with some rugged competition such as Plano East, Forney, Rockwall, The Colony, North Forney, Wylie East and North Lamar. Coach Carrillo said good competition makes you better.
Coach Carrillo is thankful for the indoor facility at the Multipurpose Building which allows practice on the worst of days. He said other coaches are trying to figure out what to do with wet and cold weather in the forecast.