GLASGOW — After finishing 31-5 overall and 8-0 in district play in 2019, the Barren County High School softball team was ready to grow upon that success in the 2020 season.
Despite losing three of their best hitters from last year to graduation, the Trojanettes as a team still had overwhelming confidence that they would have been able to repeat as 15th District Champions this season.
“I believe that we would have won district and we would have had a chance at winning region,” star sophomore pitcher Lilie Broady said. “Once our team got comfortable with each other after losing some seniors from last season, I believe that we would have been really good.”
But don’t take just her word for it. After Broady won 25 of her 30 starts in 2019 and earned an impressive season ERA of 1.92, coach Daryl Murphy is also confident of what could have been for his team in 2020.
“First and foremost, we would have to stay healthy,” Murphy said of the now cancelled 2020 season. “But, we probably would have been No. 1 in the district heading into the season. Logan County, South Warren and Warren East all had very good teams coming back this year, but I feel like we would've been right there with them in the top four. We beat both Logan County and South Warren last season, but didn't beat Warren East as they went all the way to the State Championship.”
“We would have been in the mix for a region championship and had a great opportunity to go back-to-back as district champions,” Murphy continued. “Any given night we would of had a chance to win, but we would've had to figure things out offensively.”
With Broady in the circle one again, Barren County would have fielded arguably the best pitcher in the region. But that’s not the only strength of the team as junior Cora Bogue returned after leading the Trojanettes in home runs as a sophomore.
“For us, pitching would have been a strength with Lillie Broady leading the way,” Murphy said. “Also, we are really strong at catcher with Kora Bogue who has been starting for us since eighth grade. They were the biggest pluses we had coming back for us.”
Murphy says that the duo of Broady and Bogue along with sophomore Ashley Hammer would be in the main hitting roles for the team after seniors like Hayden Sutherland, Mallory Pedigo and Madison Hagan all graduated.
The relationship and chemistry developed between Broady and Bogue, however, would have powered the Trojanettes all spring long.
“After moving here from California, I joined a travel team which Cora was a part of,” Broady said. “She was my first friend I made when I got here. We have always had a close bond since then. She has always had my back in everything.”
“Me and Lillie just bonded and we always worked on developing that further,” Bogue added. “We always helped each other out and even on the field we were always supportive for each other. We always hugged after every game.”
What’s even more interesting is that Broady says she has made great strides in her pitching abilities since her freshman campaign.
“I’ve been working with a new pitching coach on spin pitches and on improving my overall speed,” Broady said. “Right before the season was supposed to start, I got my fastball up to my goal of 60 miles per hour. I’ve also been working on my curveball a lot as well.”
While the duo of Broady and Bogue would have led the Trojanettes to several victories, Barren County still needed younger players to step up and help fill the void of production at the plate in order to make a deep postseason run.
Newer and younger players like Katie Murphy and Mary Schalk are going to step into starting roles over time as they learn the high school game better, but there is a wealth of confidence in their abilities.
“I think the younger kids would've done really well,” Bogue said. “They were great in practice and they regularly hit bombs. They were not intimidated at all by playing with us.”
While another successful season won’t be achieved by Barren County in 2020, there are still some positives. One of which being that the Trojanettes had no seniors on their team for this season.
“We were the only team in the region without any seniors,” Murphy said. “This is just a rest for us. Our younger players aren’t having to learn on the fly this season as they would have been facing high school pitching for the first time. It’s just going to be another year of working hard and getting more prepared to face that type of pitching.”
But even an extremely bright future still will not completely make up for an entire season lost. However, there is still at least a light at the end of the tunnel for this young Trojanettes team.
“We are all pretty sad, and we would’ve done pretty well with the younger kids,” Bogue said. “I think that we will be back better then ever next season.”