Although Maryville softball ended its season with a first-round exit in districts, the season wasn’t a letdown, as the Spoofhounds managed to complete one of their biggest goals: playing a full season.
Before the season began, Maryville struggled with the ongoing complications of COVID-19. The team struggled to find any time during the summer to begin working out or training for the upcoming season and was worried that the season was going to be canceled.
Coach Chandra DeMott knew having a season this year was a goal for most of the senior girls, and that is a big reason she counts this year as a success.
“If you look at most of the girl’s Senior Night information, most of them had the goal to at least get to play this season,” DeMott said. “So, it was successful in that we got to have a season and we got the opportunity to play a game at all.”
During the beginning of the season, Maryville struggled to lock in mentally, as they lost seven of their first eight games of the season. Despite the struggle to win, the team focused on keeping each other motivated and ready to go.
“Everyone was really close,” senior catcher Briley Watkins said. “When someone else was down, everyone jumped on it and helped pick them back up. It was really good to see that.”
The Spoofhounds began to find somewhat of a streak later into the season, going 5-3 through their last eight games to head into districts with a record of 6-10.
In the first round of the postseason, Macon beat Maryville, 12-0, effectively ending the Spoofhounds’ 2020 campaign with a record of 6-11.
Although the season ended on a loss, DeMott wasn’t completely upset with the way things panned out.
“Ending with a couple of wins going into districts definitely helped things end not as negatively,” DeMott said after their 12-0 loss to the Tigers.
The first-round loss to the Tigers marked the end of four Spoofhounds starters’ careers.
Watkins finished her high school career with 91 hits and 71 runs, while having a batting average of .368. She also finished with a fielding percentage of .928% and had 359 putoutsMorgan Wray, third basemen, finished her career with 39 hits and 40 runs, while having a batting average of .171. She finished with a fielding percentage of .770% and 79 assisted outs.
Ashlyn Alexander, pitcher and first basemen, finished her career with 96 hits and 84 runs, while having a batting average of .412. She finished with a fielding percentage of .976% and having a 10-15 career on the mound with 147 strikeouts and 45 walks.
Emily Cassavaugh, first baseman, finished her career, which began at the start of this season, with a batting average of .293 and had a fielding percentage of .930%, along with 39 putouts.
With the loss of multiple core members in the lineup, DeMott is already confident in a few of the younger girls to step up and fill the roles.
“I will return both of my infielders, as well as some of my other girls that will have to step up and take some starting roles,” DeMott said. “I think having been a part of some teams with some strong leadership, I think we will definitely see them step up and fill those leadership roles nicely.”
DeMott will be returning her two infielders, Abby Swink and Clara Viau, who will both be juniors next season. Demott believes now-juniors Alonna Cross and Maggie Graham will perfectly take over those leadership roles.
“I think all the seniors have set a really good example,” Watkins said. “I hope that everyone takes advantage of that, and I think our leadership coming up through the grades are pretty strong.”
With this season over, DeMott is already setting goals for next year in hopes that COVID-19 doesn’t hinder the Spoofhounds as much as it did this season.
“Definitely a big goal for us next season is to continue to increase our win-loss record and take it game-by-game,” DeMott said. “Hopefully, with the return of some tournaments next year, we will see a little bit of improvement there.”