Post 48 senior softball looks to continue its success in final week of regular season play

Hickory Post 48's Mayson Lail (8), Madison Rowe (12) and Payton Goble (15) gathering with the players during All-Star festivities on Thursday, July 18
Marcus Smith
Sports Editor

With only two games remaining for Hickory Post 48 (11-4) in senior legion softball action, it hopes to get the advantage over North Gaston Post 266 on the road Tuesday night and South Gaston Post 144 in its last home game on Thursday.

Legion play halted a bit last week as the Western Division All-Star game between Area 1 and Area 2 commenced on Thursday, July 18 at North Davidson High School.

Unlike in 2018, Area 1 was able to get the win via shutout over Area 2, 8-0, in a complete 7-inning match-up.

Post 48 had three players competing on Area 1: Mayson Lail, Payton Goble and Madison Rowe.

There would also be a base run event, as well as a home run derby -- the latter of which Lail competed in.

As for the final week of play, Post 48 head coach Todd Smith believes his team will be hungry coming out of the break.

“We may be a little rusty to start with because we haven’t played much this month,” he said. “Some of the players haven’t played at all this month due to vacations and other things going on...Most of them play from January to August, so a little break does them good sometimes. We will continue to stick to the game plan as usual with a little modification (for) getting tuned up for the playoffs.”

Smith said that at first, the coaching staff let the players pick and choose where they wanted to play defensively until the staff found out what the perfect fit was. He said that as of late he has positioned his team in the field where they will help out the best.

In terms of the way his players have shown leadership, Smith said that his upperclassmen have shown great leadership skills and he couldn’t ask more of them.

“However, my most two vocal leaders have been Emma Lay and Madison Rowe,” he said. “Those two have really been my firecrackers as far as leadership. Don’t get me wrong, all the upperclassmen have shown leadership in one way or another but you have silent leaders and vocal leaders, and they are my two vocal ones. You can tell they just hate to lose.

“Emma has taken on different roles all season as far as calling pitches, giving pep talks or playing in positions she isn’t used to playing. Madison does whatever you ask of her and has been a real vocal leader in the dugout (by) keeping everyone focused on the game...She got banged up a little in the first game of our last doubleheader, but she still would not let me take her out of the game. That’s what kind of player she is.”

He mentioned that Katelynn Thompson, a Fred T. Foard product, has been a pleasant surprise for his team this season, offensively and defensively, having not played for Post 48 in 2018.

“(She) has really found her groove for us lately,” said Smith.

He said that he has been pleased with his pitchers -- including Lail, Goble and Destini Vines -- as well as his catchers.

“They have been solid for us. We have a few things to clean up defensively, but I know we will before heading into the playoffs,” he said. “I think we probably have the strongest team in Area 1 (division) and nothing is going to be easy, but we are going to do whatever it takes to get back to the (World) Championship series in Shelby this year...We are going to leave it all on the field and if the players do that, I like our chances.”