Tim Fisher, the head coach of the Barren County 12-Under All-Stars, is making his final adjustments as he prepares his squad for this weekend’s Girls State Softball Tournament in Louisville.
Defense and solid pitching has been the focus of recent practices for Fisher and his team and the coach believes those aspects of the game of softball are coming around.
“This year’s team is made up of players with a lot of experience. The youngest girl I have is 10 years old and she’s been playing softball since she was 6. I have four middle school players on the team so we are very deep and experienced,” Fisher said. “And that hasn’t always been the case in the past.”
Barren County opens the state tournament at 5:45 p.m. on Thursday against Germantown. The tourney is being played at Fern Creek High School.
“I don’t feel any pressure and I don’t put any pressure on the team. We will go up there and our goal is to have fun, but our main objective is to win,” Fisher explained. “It has been a while since Barren County has had good representation at the state tournament. (However) the 8U team last year finished runner-up and there was a lot of excitement, and I think that got the kids excited this year.”
There are 10 teams in the tournament field and Fisher believes the competition this year should be fierce.
“I would say this year’s tournament is on a pretty level playing field. However, there is always one team that stands out and that’s the Prairie Village squad,” Fisher explained. “They’ve been very successful over the years and that’s somebody we try to model ourselves after here in Barren County. That’s the one you want to set your sights on.”
Fisher said besides Barren County, Prairie Village and Germantown, Okolona, Fern Creek and Jeffersontown may also be teams with a chance to win the tournament.
For Barren County to have a chance to win, the Trojanettes must be able to put runs on the board.
“Offensively, we have a lot of good power hitters and we have some speed, especially in the leadoff position,” Fisher said. “As far as the defense goes, we played in a tournament this weekend and struggled a little bit on defense. But we’ve worked on that in practice.
“We have a pretty strong pitching staff. We can call on Jaycie Harper, Alli Bragg, Macy Wilkerson, Jaedyn Poynter, Alexis Payne, Destiny Harwood and Mara Harbison. We can pretty much put anyone in and they know what we need to get done.”
And one of the things Barren County needs to “get done” is to keep the opposition off the bases. “The key to winning the state title is not letting your opponent have the big inning,” Fisher explained. “All of these teams will take advantage of your mistakes.”