No. 1 Sparkman falls to Buckhorn in softballPublished 11:13pm Monday, March 25, 2013
HARVEST- A week after upsetting Bob Jones, Buckhorn went into Sparkman and did the same to the top ranked Senators by an 11-5 score on March 14. The area loss means Buckhorn has a 2 game lead in the area race.
A week later, Sparkman head coach Dale Palmer was still searching for answers as his team played Grissom to close out the first half of the season.
“They’ve got a very good team,” Palmer said of Buckhorn. “They did a good job that night. They hit a lot of balls hard and hit four homeruns. Our pitching was having an off-night. They just outhit us.”
Still Sparkman is considered the favorite to win the area and more importantly the area tournament when playoff time comes.
Janna Korak and Jordan Bullock have been steady at the plate this season. Korak is hitting .550 and has an on-base-percentage over .800. Palmer has moved her to leadoff hitter so she can see some good pitches.
Korak has moved to centerfield this season and still pitches. Last season she starred down the stretch winning 16 games for the season and 6 straight in the playoffs and championship series. She has signed a softball scholarship with Marist College. She turned down offers from UA-Huntsville, Memphis, and James Madison.
Bullock is also hitting over .500.
“We got some injuries,” Palmer said as he ticked off a list of key players banged up. “We’re not able to work as much as we need too to perform in a game. We’re using Janna sparingly until she gets over back spasms. Taylor Hurford has also missed some games. We’re going to hold some players out at the Gulf Shores tournament.”
Palmer hopes with some days off his top players will be fresh for a road game at Bob Jones on April 2 and at Buckhorn a week later.
Last season Korak missed some games with an elbow injury but came back strong late in the season and dominated in the playoffs. Palmer is looking to strike that same balance again this season.
Sparkman still has five tournaments on the schedule including the Bob Jones tournament the first weekend in April.
Sam Mayhall and Meg Willis have been getting most of the work at pitcher this season. Mayhall picked up a win in a 10-0 area win over Hazel Green on March 12.
The most anticipated game of the season will take place as soon as spring break ends. In a key Area 15 game, Sparkman is at Bob Jones on Tuesday night, April 2 at 5 p.m.