By Trey Hunter
As the Mustang Lady Broncos gather steam going into the 2014 season, coach, Bryan Howard, is searching for something his team can feed off of during summer games and camps.
This week’s team camp with Mangum and Elk City featured a number of positives Howard thinks the team will build on, but he took major notice of how freshman, Kylie Dodson, pitched in the absence of Jayden Chestnut.
"Kylie really did well tonight (Monday)," Howard said after his team played Elk City. "She will get the ball a lot this season. One thing about her is the girls around her really feed off of her. She makes a good third baseman look like an all-state player. The girls really get behind her and sometimes in softball, that’s what you need on the mound."
Howard explained he plans to use Dodson and Chestnut as his one-two punch and said he doesn’t exactly use a rotation like in baseball.
"With Jayden, we will have somebody that can pretty much throw all of the time," he said. "But Kylie (Dodson) will get the ball in situations when we can throw a team off. When we won the state title last year at Washington, we used our best pitcher off of the bench. That works really well in softball because the girls can sometimes feed off a one pitcher more than another."
Catcher, Jaqlyn Kelm, stood out as well, both at the plate and behind it.
"Jaquie (Kelm) is one of those girls that is going to hit it out a lot for us this year," Howard said. "She’s really strong at the plate with her frame. I watched her hit a pitch at her eyes straight out of the ballpark on a line-drive. She can also move, which makes her a tough out. She’s been pretty impressive this summer."
Kelm smashed a double to the center field wall during their game against Elk City on Monday, showing the type of power Howard expects in the middle of the lineup this fall. She is expected to hit with Chestnut somewhere between the three and five spots.
"Overall, we’ve looked good this summer," he said. "We’ve got a pair of pitchers that can get it done and we’ve got a really solid lineup that is starting to gel. We’re going to be able to do some things with our approach at the plate and the power in the middle hitting behind our speed."