After an Arizona Interscholastic Association Division IV championship game appearance in 2016, the Camp Verde High School softball team is off to a strong start in 2017, winning its season opener 15-2 in five innings against Mayer High School on Wednesday, Feb. 22.
The Cowboys [2-0] took down Wickenburg High School the following day 17-2.
Against Mayer, the game was put to bed after an 11-run second inning. Head coach Henry Smith pointed out that once the Cowboys had batted around once, they were able to figure out the Wildcats’ pitcher.
“It was a matter of getting going and figuring things out,” Smith said. “The second time around they were able to turn it around and put runs on the board.”
They turned in 12 hits, four for extra bases, and 12 RBI while drawing six walks while striking out just three times.
The veteran Camp Verde defense, the majority of which returns from last year’s 5-0 state title game loss to Pueblo Magnet High School, gave up just two runs on two hits while committing one error.
“Defensively, recognize the situation and take advantage of every situation,” Smith said. “Playing ahead, thinking ahead.”
In the pitchers circle this season are two freshmen: Jordyn Cowsert and Jacy Finley. Against Mayer, Cowsert paired two strikeouts with one walk in two innings while giving up just one earned run.
Finley tossed the final three innings, walking one while striking out eight to get the win.
Key to Camp Verde has been its dedication to hard work during the other nine months of the year outside of the high school season, according to Smith.
“Like most things to be successful the work doesn’t stop,” Smith said. “Our goal coming into each season is to be a little better than the last, and that comes from offseason work.”
What Smith hopes to instill in the girls are sentiments that they can take with them in order to find the same results off the field as on they do on it.
“My main focus is to get these girls as good as they can possibly be,” Smith said. “Learn the process; teamwork, dedication, regardless of the outcome, to be successful.”
Being that it is just the beginning of the season, Camp Verde has room to grow moving forward.
“It’s going to be our focus throughout the season,” Smith said. “Feeling comfortable, playing within themselves. It’s going to be a process but they’re getting there pretty quick.”
The Cowboys played at Payson High School on Tuesday, Feb. 28, but results were unavailable at press time. They next play on Friday March 3, in the 2017 Wrangler Classic Softball Tournament at Wickenburg High School.
2017 Wrangler Classic Softball Tournament
@ Wickenburg High School
March 7, 3:45 p.m.
v. Chino Valley High School
March 10, 3:45 p.m.
@ Scottsdale Christian Academy
March 14, 4 p.m.
v. Bourgade Catholic High School
@ Grace Lee Haught Memorial
@ Payson High School