To suggest the members of the Pickens softball team are familiar with one another would be an understatement.
“We’ve played together for a long time. Most of these girls have played together since they were in elementary school. They know each other, how each other’s thinking, and how each other plays,” said Alexander.
Due to this familiarity and the return of players from last season’s team that finished fourth in the Western AAA, Alexander believes the Blue Flame have an outstanding opportunity to advance deep into the state softball playoffs and compete for the team’s ultimate goal.
Alexander is quick to point out the team’s goal is very simple, “We expect to win state. That’s our goal.”
The 2009 Blue Flame are led by a group of underclassmen, including talented pitchers Madison Burnett and Cheyenne Simmons, along with senior catcher Kayla Galloway.
With this young nucleus of talent and the familiarity of team members, the same lofty expectations for this season will carry over into future seasons.
In recent competition, the Blue Flame captured the Liberty tournament to open the 2009 campaign.
They were able to win the title by defeating Liberty, Tamassee Salem, and West Oak (twice) thus completing the tournament undefeated.
Alexander views playing in the Liberty tournament to be great preparation for the state playoffs and in developing depth from players coming off the bench.
“Those wins early were good for their confidence going into the season. We saw action from every player. That’s important early on to see what you have and how deep your bench goes,” she remarked.
Alexander feels that the potential of the 2009 Blue Flame is great and that keys to success will be team oriented attitudes and veteran leadership.
“I am pleased with the level of play so far. If we can keep attitudes straight and get leadership from our key players we can go far and win the state,” Alexander commented.
The South Carolina AAA softball tournament begins on March 30, 2009. If Alexander’s vision of the possibilities for the 2009 Blue Flame are true, then the Pickens community should anticipate an exciting run deep into the playoffs as the calendar turns to April.