The Benton Academy Lady Raiders now hold a record of 4-1 since the season began on July 26. The Benton girls defeated North Sunflower 21-1 to start off the season, and also took down Carroll Academy 12-4, and the Jackson Victors 15-5. The Lady Raiders fell to Central Holmes Christian School on July 30, but made up for that loss Monday night after defeating the Lady Trojans at home 8-2.
"Monday night against Central Holmes was by far the best game we have played," said Lady Raiders Softball Coach Natalie Whitehead. "We got a lead in the first inning and continued to put up runs for 6 innings and held them only to 2 runs."
Whitehead said that the Lady Raiders showed off their base running skills by scoring 8 runs off of just 9 hits.
At this point in the season, Zoi Pate leads the Lady Raiders with 11 RBI's. Clara Ann Yeates leads the team on offense with 15 hits, while Gracey Manor leads the defense in the pitching circle by putting up 20 strikeouts from the mound.
Benton Academy recently held an invitational softball tournament this weekend and both the Varsity and JV Raiders had a chance to show off their skills.
"We had a great turnout for our first invitational 4-Team tournament," Whitehead said. "Our Varsity played one game and took the win over Sylva Bay 5-2. Our JV beat Kirk Academy and lost to Manchester."
Next the Lady Raiders will travel to St. Joe for their first conference game of the season, and will host the Jackson Victors at home later this week. The Benton girls will also make an appearance at the Canton Academy Tournament on Saturday, August 10.
"My goal for this season is for the girls to get more comfortable and confident in the box, which is where we have struggled in the past, and to return to the state tournament this year," said Whitehead.
She added that her approach to this season is get the girls ready for each game one at a time and to not let them feel overwhelmed thinking about the other teams they will face each week.
Whitehead also wanted to give a special thanks to her Assistant Coach this year, Madilyn Manor.
"She has been a huge asset to the coaching staff and has so much softball knowledge to share with the girls," Whitehead said. "I can't thank the parents enough for all of the time and labor they have sacrificed so far this summer and since our season has started. They keep our field looking great, got our new dugouts ready for the season, keep the facilities clean, and our tournament couldn't have happened without their help."