LIBERTY — On day one of practice, the Liberty North softball team was alive and well. In Eagles’ coach Roger Lower’s words, they were in “midseason form.”
Liberty North conducted a successful infield/outfield drill, commonly known as the in-and-out, on Monday, Aug. 12, the first official day of fall practices at the high school, 1000 NE 104th St. After the drill, Eagles assistant coach Amanda Self, who was on a nearby field with the underclassmen, made an observation to Lower.
“Man, I could hear you from over there,” Lower recalled Self saying. “They sound great.”
“We thought they were in midseason form,” said Lower, who’s in his third year with the program. “It looked pretty good. They have a good frame of mind going into (the preseason).”
That’s good news for an Eagles squad that went 14-12 and lost in the district championship to the Liberty Blue Jays in 2018. Now, Liberty North is looking to return to the state tournament for the first time since 2016.
“We have a really good group of girls and I think we can go far,” said senior Jayme Jackson, a Pittsburg State women’s basketball commit. “We were good in the field (last year) but we’ll have to hit more consistently. (And) Liberty is pretty good, so we’ll have to get over that hump. I just want to go as far as we can and do the best we can.”
Jackson is one of five returning starters, including all-conference honoree Kayley Lenger.
“She can play first base, second base and she can catch,” Lower said. “She swung a good bat last year and is pretty athletic. She helps us in a lot of different areas.”
Lower expects Hayden Simmons and Sage LaGud to contribute in the circle.
“We’re focused on the right mix,” Jackson said. “But once we find that we’ll work on our team defense. We’ll be pretty young again — we had two freshmen starting last year — but we’re excited to be back.”