Blue Springs South High School softball coach Kristi Williams liked what she saw from her Class 4 defending state champion Jaguars in a jamboree Tuesday afternoon at home – even when things didn’t go her team’s way.
Addie Lightner threw three innings of one-hit ball as the Jaguars topped Suburban Big Six rival Lee’s Summit 5-0 in the opening stint of the jamboree on the stadium’s new artificial turf infield.
“Addie and Tori (Bradley) hit homers and we did some good things when it came to situational hitting,” Williams said. “The girls played really well and we were able to work on a lot of things.”
In their second three-inning outing, Platte County came away with a 7-1 win, but that score is a bit skewed because the Jaguars’ opponent started innings with runners on base so South could work on some defensive schemes.
“Platte County hit the ball well, and we made some defensive mistakes, but we also made some real bang-bang defensive plays and were in game situations we will likely see this season,” Williams said. “I think the jamboree was beneficial for all the teams.”
The season starts Friday when the Jaguars travel to Chesterfield in suburban St. Louis for the Rockwood Summit Tournament. They play Lafayette-Wildwood at 3 p.m. and Muskogee (Okla.) at 4:45 p.m. in pool play. They have another pool game Saturday before playing a final game based on pool results.
“I’m just so excited to go out and play with all my teammates,” said Lightner, who starred on the mound and at the plate for South Tuesday. “When we played our Blue and Green Game, we had half our players on one team and half on another.
“Today, we’re all going to be on the same team, and it’s actually going to be competitive because we’re playing against teams from other schools. And we play in a tournament in St. Louis this weekend so today is really going to help us get ready for that.”
Williams said Lightner and sophomore Bailey Brumley will share the pitching responsibilities this season.
“We don’t really know how we’re going to do it – probably something like 60 percent for Addie and 40 percent for Bailey,” Williams said. “It could change during the season, we’ll just see what happens.”
One thing that won’t happen is simple: Neither Jaguar pitcher will try to be Seib.
“I’m just going to go out and be myself, and hope that’s good enough,” Lightner said. “We lost two great players and leaders in Easton and Abby (Sciara), but we have some exciting young freshman who are going to play a big role on the team this year, and a lot of our core players back from last year.
“What I have to do is go out and do what I can to help the team win on the mound. I’m not going to try and be Easton, because no one could be Easton.”
“What I have to do is everything I can to help our team win,” said Brumley, who will play first base when not pitching. “Even though we haven’t played a game this season, all the girls have really bonded and we already feel like I team.
“It’s so exciting to get out and play against some teams from other schools. Today was so beneficial for our team. We’re going to have a big target on our backs and we’re excited to see what we can do this year after winning state last year.”
When asked about bounces on the new artificial turf, 5-foot sophomore outfielder Elle Smith grinned.
“The game is so much faster on turf, and I’m glad we’ve had some chances to practice on it and play on it today,” Smith said. “And when you’re my size, you have to be really smart and not let the ball bounce over your head!”