Lady Cavs smashing school records - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lady Cavs smashing school records

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

It's been said chicks dig the long ball.

The girls on the Darton State softball team are proving that true.

The Lady Cavs have punished opposing pitching to the tune of 40 home runs this season, good for fifth in the country.

It's also the most in program history, and the Lady Cavs have 14 more games to add to their total.

When Eric Neel took over the team this offseason, he said he wanted them to be offensively aggressive, and that has shown.

But Neel and the players also credit the home run power to being prepared at the plate.

"He likes to put us at practice in the game situations that we're going to have that way we know what we have to do when we get up there," says Emily Church, who leads the team with 13 home runs.

"I think it has a lot to do with them understanding the philosophy of how we hit in counts, and how we approach pitchers," says Neel. "We probably get a little too in depth with our philosophy, but so far its been really good."

Neel says having the kind of power means the Lady Cavs are never out of the game. That showed this weekend.

Jostlyn Higgerson blasted two home runs to help cap off a Darton rally over GMC Saturday.

"As long as we're three down, I feel pretty good about it. One swing of the bat can get you right back in it," Neel says. "It's a nice feeling to know that you've got a lot of kids sitting over there that can get you back in the game real quick."

It's not just in the batter's box where Darton State is setting records.

The Lady Cavs have swiped 104 stolen bases this season, good for third in the nation.

Neel credits the success on the basepaths to a change in philosophy.

"They've always had a lot of power in the lineup. But the speed element, I think they're understanding when we want to run and when we don't want to run," he says. "Our hitters are doing good at not swinging at pitches they can't handle so we can steal that base."

The Lady Cavs take their offensive show on the road Tuesday when they take on ABAC in a doubleheader in Tifton. First pitch of game one is at 2:00.

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