Lady Rams look toward next softball season, improvement
Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, April 17, 2012
By RYAN ARENA
EDGARD — West St. John wrapped up a rebuilding season last week. And though the Rams’ streak of consecutive playoff appearances ended at six, softball coach Brandon Dumas sees reasons for optimism going forward.
The Lady Rams (5-14) were very young this season, most of its top players underclassman who will return next season. Juniors Taj Howard and Donasia Bell, sophomore Danae Lumar and eighth grader Maya Trench had strong seasons and are among those expected to comprise the core of next year’s Rams team.
West St. John went through some expected growing pains this season, however, with almost the entire lineup turning over from the 2011 campaign. West St. John started slowly, with many of its expected top contributors missing time due to injuries and the Lady Rams run to the Top 28 tournament in basketball, the latter an issue as those who doubled as basketball players were not able to play until that season was over.
Dumas said that where the lack of continuity and experience hurt early on was in run production, something the offensively-gifted Rams teams in recent seasons had few worries about.
“We just weren’t swinging well early. Really, our bats were non-existent,” he said. “But that’s something that definitely picked up over the last few weeks of the season.”
The Rams had some struggles early offensively, peaking in a stretch of five games where the Rams scored two runs or less in four. But things began to change in late March, a 20-5 win over East Iberville, then a close 10-14 loss to White Castle showing the Rams indeed had some punch to them.
Dumas said that while the shorthanded roster at times didn’t help matters, he was pleased that his team didn’t make excuses.
“The girls we had went to battle,” he said. “We didn’t dwell on that stuff.
“Hopefully, we’ll have the opportunity get into some camps over the summer, to work on awareness and work out some of the issues we had this year. With a little added dedication, I think we have the talent to do some things.”