Clopton softball went 1-2 last week, but Coach Tony Francis sees reasons to be optimistic about their performance as the team approaches district tournament play.

“Even though we went 1-2 on the week, I really noticed a difference in our aggressiveness and team chemistry. I think our young players are beginning to realize they can make aggressive plays, and even if they make a mistake, the aggressive nature of their actions can be infectious to the rest of the team. The coaching staff noticed a much different vibe in the dugout and we are hoping this continues the remainder of the season,” Francis said.

Clopton lost 11-0 to Wright City Thursday, beat Community R-VI 6-5 Wednesday and fell to Mark Twain 5-3 Tuesday.

In Wright City, the Clopton squad was squared up against a team that was 11-2 for the season. Francis suggested that the experience might contain a lesson for the Ladyhawks.

“We ran into a very good team in the Wright City squad. While they are a much bigger school, you could tell their entire lineup plays not just travel ball, but select travel ball. Part of us finding success is understanding what our competition does in the off-season and then embracing that challenge in the pursuit of excellence,” Francis said.

The tight win over Community R-VI came courtesy of a bonanza at the plate for Clopton in the third, with the Ladyhawks putting up five runs.

Clopton was tied in the game against Mark Twain at the end of the seventh inning, but the Mark Twain Tigers scored twice in the eighth.

Clopton was set to play Bowling Green Tuesday evening, after this paper went to press. On Thursday, the team is set to play Van-Far at home.

“We have two great opportunities this upcoming week to prepare for district tournament play and I’m excited for our squad to compete with this new energy and team chemistry,” Francis said.

Send questions and comments to athorp@pikecountynews.com.

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