For the Glasgow 12-Under Girls Softball All-Stars, it is time to get down to business. Coaches Wade Copas and Steven Furlong have been diligently working in practice to prepare their team for this weekend’s state softball tournament in Louisville.
But practice time is just about over as Copas and Furlong will lead Glasgow into the first round of the tourney on Friday, in just over 24 hours. Glasgow will play Fern Creek Orange at 11:30 a.m. CT, and follow that up with a game against Prairie Village at 4:45 p.m.
“I feel good about how things are going and we’re pretty confident in the girls’ abilities to buy into the team system,” Copas said. “We may make some mistakes in practice, but that’s the nature of the beast when it comes to practice versus the game. All in all, these girls are ready to roll.”
“We’re doing well in practice and I am pleased,” Furlong added. “These girls are very talented. Some of them have three or four years playing experience under their belts.”
The tournament, which runs through Sunday, will be played at Fern Creek Park. Single elimination play begins Saturday with the championship game at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
“We’ve been trying to stress to these girls motivation and confidence in their abilities, to bring that out,” Copas explained. “We’re telling them this is their shot at a state title. Getting them mentally ready is just as important, against the teams were going to face in this tournament, as getting them physically ready.”
This year’s team includes: Madison Furlong, Autumn Copass, Brianna Mosier, Anzley Adwell, Kendra Harrison, Paige Wheeler, Acey Page, Grace Butler, Ella Darst, Millie German, Kaela Forshee and Maddie Murray.
Besides Glasgow, the tournament field includes: Okolona, Barren County, Fern Creek Orange, Jeffersontown, Germantown, Auburn, Fern Creek Black, Prairie Village and Blue Lick. Though several of the teams have tournament experience, Furlong said that’s not what he’s focusing on.
“The tournament is going to be very tough,” Furlong relayed. “We don’t know a lot about those teams and my approach to that has always been to just worry about what we do. As long as we make the plays, hit the ball and put ourselves in a position to win the game, that’s all I can ask for. We just want to give ourselves a chance to win.”
And if Glasgow’s pitching staff is as good as expected, winning games may come pretty easy.
“We have three really outstanding pitchers, possibly the best around here. We have Brianna Mosier, Maddie Murray and Madison Furlong. I would not have any problem pitching any of them against the top teams in the state,” Furlong said. “We have four other girls that we could also call on.”
Copas said Glasgow’s offensive production could be a key in the tournament.
“We’re not going to overpower anyone with our offense. I like to play small ball, manufacture runs,” Copas explained. “And with the quality of pitchers we have, we shouldn’t have any problem playing small ball against anyone. We just want to put the ball in play and get on base however we can.”
Furlong said the team will head up to Louisville on Friday morning.
“If you do the fundamental things well, believe in your ability and the team aspect, you’re going to be hard to beat,” Copas explained. “We’ve tried to instill in the girls all season that you never quit until you’ve made the last out of the game.”