Phenix City, Al. (WRBL) – Last season the Central High School softball team tore through their schedule and finished with over 40 wins. The Lady Devils also earned a spot in the AHSAA State Championship Tournament. Fast forward to this year, and the ladies are off to another hot start with a 15-4-1 overall record.

“I think that a lot of people doubted us with the seniors that we lost last year. I think that we’ve kind of proven ourselves. I mean not completely but we’ve definitely gotten off to a good start which I don’t think many people expected from us. So it’s given us a big confidence boost,” said senior catcher Lilly Hunt.

Every year, every team has to deal with the same problem of replacing key pieces. During this new season, new leaders have stepped up to lead the charge.

“We did lose a lot with that senior class we had, with some pretty big names and a record setting season that happened last year. You know we had to bounce back from that. We tell the girls all the time the names change but the expectations don’t change,” said head coach Mitchell Holt.

“New team, new name but competition is still the same. We still have high expectations as our coaches want for us. I think it’s just the will to compete with each other and make each other better,” said senior pitcher Briana Murray.

The Central coaching staff has been impressed on how other players are willingly becoming those much needed leaders. They call it a “buy-in” attitude, and it could be the key to their success.

“Just the buy-in. The buy-in from all of them. Just playing whatever role they’re asked to play that game or that week. Just know that it’s changing as the season goes on. You never know when you’re time going to come and you’ve got to be ready if you want to compete at a high level,” said Holt.

The Lady Red Devils are rolling on the diamond, and this early season confidence boost has put the expectations sky high for the Central softball team.

I talked to my girls not too long about how I was getting chills thinking about where we will be this year. Not where I hope, where I know where we will end up this year,” said Hunt. “We’re winning State this year! That’s my goal.”

Congratulations to our newest Kia AutoSport Athletes of the Week the Central Lady Red Devils Softball Team.