Sidney softball team set for Regionals
Postseason action for the Sidney softball team was set to begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night as Corner Conference rival Fremont-Mills provided the opposition for the Class 1A, Region 3, First Round.
Sidney came into the contest after having amassed a 10-win record and a 7-3 mark in the Corner Conference, including decisive wins over F-M by counts of 11-2 and 11-1.
Other Sidney wins this year have come against Shenandaoh, 6-5; Red, Oak, 8-3; East Mills, 10-0 and 10-3; Bedford, 10-4; Essex, 19-9 and 17-7; and Stanton, 6-3.
Coach Dustin Sheldon said his team enters postseason play with the goal of improving the offense.
Coach Sheldon said there were a few struggles haunting the team as it came down the stretch run of the regular season. The coach is not sounding the alarm. The team is simply going back to the fundamentals of hitting to make sure their skills are right when the games matter most. Building consistency will be the desired outcome of extra hitting sessions and tee work.
“We know what we are doing wrong,” Sheldon said. “It’s just the fundamentals of hitting.”
Defense and pitching have looked strong of late.
Coach Sheldon said Makenna Laumann has been controlling the action form the pitching circle this season. Laumann and the team’s catcher, Jolie Sheldon, have a good relationship, and that helps.
“She has been a warrior for us,” Coach Sheldon said of his pitcher.
In the field, the outfielders have really impressed their coach in running down a lot of balls that other units might have allowed to drop for hits.
“I would put my outfield up against any team all the way across. They catch a lot of balls that are hard to get to,” said Coach Sheldon.
And the coach doesn’t mean to exclude the work of his infield. They’ve a young crew and they’ve done well in establishing solid play for this season and the future.
Looking back at the season, highlights include early wins against bigger schools from the Hawkeye 10. The Sidney team came through the conference as the rummer up. Coach Sheldon said the program has been used to being on top so the runner up finish wasn’t as exciting for this group.
Coach Sheldon said the Cowgirls twice faced up against a very tough Griswold team, which ended the season at 25-1. The second of the two match ups was a 5-1 decision and Sidney came out of that feeling that it very well could have beaten Griswold. A few timely hits and no errors by Griswold were the difference.
Not getting the conference title might be a motivating factor for Sidney in the postseason. And that could be a very positive thing.
“I know it’s bothering some of them. I don’t blame them,” said Coach Sheldon. “I would like to get some hardware.”
The journey began with F-M on Tuesday. Coach Sheldon said the team is well aware that beating a team three times is difficult, so the Knights were to have Sidney’s full attention.
In stats for hitting this year, Jolie Sheldon leads the team with 28 hits, six of them doubles. She has a home run and 14 RBI. Mia Foster has 18 hits. Also with double-digit hits are Kaden Payne, Faith Brumbaugh, Aunika Hayes and Fallon Sheldon.
Laumann pitched 105.1 frames, struck out 68 and had a 4.39 ERA with a 10-7 record.