thought is undoubtedly Greenville and the defending Division II state
champion Green Wave. But, Floyd Jenkins and his Ansonia Lady Tigers are
trying to change that.
Since he took over, Jenkins has increased the Tigers’ win total each
year and currently has his team at 11-0. Last season Ansonia went 22-6.
Since he took over, Jenkins has increased the Tigers’ win total each year and currently has his team at 11-0. Last season Ansonia went 22-6.
It has been an impressive turn around for Ansonia and according to Jenkins all the credit goes to the girls.
“I have been working with this group of girls since they were seven-years old,” said Jenkins. “The one thing they learned is that softball is a year round sport. All of them have played or worked on their game during the off-season.”
It is just not the players that have learned new tricks over the years. Jenkins and his staff have made adjustment, with some outstanding results.
“We learned that we needed a short game,” said Jenkins. “We took some of our speedier players and put them on the left side of the plate. In practice we worked on slapping the ball and bunting.”
This has allowed Jenkins to alter his game depending on the opponent.
“We scout our opponents and are willing to take what they are giving us,” said Floyd.
With a coach willing to learn and change, the Tiger players have also excelled under Jenkins’ guidance, learning the game and evolving into leaders off and on the field.
“We have a lot of leaders on this team and they know the game,” said Jenkins. “Each one of them knows what it takes to be a winner.”
One of those players is Cassie Knick. From her leadoff spot Knick is the catalyst of the Tigers’ offense. Through 11 games Knick was hitting .410 with 21 runs scored and according to Jenkins she knows the game and fills her role perfectly.
“Cassie Knick has been an outstanding player for us,” said Jenkins. “She has tremendous speed and last season stole 40 bases in 43 attempts.”
Perhaps Ansonia’s most versatile player is Alex Mayo. Mayo is capable of playing almost every position and in fact nearly has. Mayo has played catcher, first base, short stop and pitcher, excelling at each.
“Alex is just so versatile,” said Jenkins. “She is also one of the smartest players on the team and does almost everything.”
From the circle Mayo is 3-0, allowing just three earned runs in 16 innings pitched, but it is from the plate where she is doing her best work. Mayo is hitting .355 and leading the team with 14 RBI.
With Mayo and Knick pacing the offense, it is another Mayo who is in charge in the circle, Brittany.
The ace of the staff, Brittany is 6-0 with 39 strikeouts in 36 innings pitched. She is the ace, but Jenkins has another arm he can toss at opponents, Staci Schmidt. Schmidt has yet to allow an earned run in 18 innings.
With so many pieces in place, Jenkins and his team have one thing on their mind currently; winning the Cross County Conference. Last year they suffered a handful of close loses and fell just short. In 2008 they are not taking any chances.
“We were disappointed in not winning it last season and that is our goal this year,” said Jenkins.
The conference crown is just one goal.
Said Jenkins: “We would like to win the Sectional, but honestly at this time we are just taking things one game at time.”
So far the plan is working to perfection. Time will tell if that will continue.