The sticks at Angelina College are burning red hot.
Ladyroadrunner softball has beat the former team record of 62 home runs in a single season and surpassed it. AC has recorded 67 home runs.
What makes the milestone even more impressive is that there are still eight games left in the regular season, not including the regional tournament and a hopeful postseason run after that.
The coaches said it's a true testament of the squad’s collective effort to achieve greatness.
“We have a great team of hitters. We're all hitters and everybody on the team is capable of hitting home runs so I'm really not surprised,” said Kayla Boucher with 10 home runs this year.
Currently leading the way for the team is freshmen Taylor Davis with 13 home runs this year. The designated hitter is just three blasts short of tying the individual record of 16 home runs in a single season.
“I never thought I'd be starting at the college level as a freshmen,” said Davis. “Being able to start as a designated hitter, I completed one of my goals. Being able to start with all the people being so good, it just feels good.”
“Taylor Davis, she is a silent leader by how much she puts in the cages,” said associate head coach Barbara Mattson. “Whether she's here or she goes home for a weekend, she's in the cages there too. She's definitely the epitome of ‘you get out what you put in.’”
Davis isn't doing it alone though.
The Ladyroadrunners have notched 67 home runs in just 49 games. It's a direct result of the extra time this year's team has put in without a mandatory push from a coach.
“It was across the board that five, six, seven could be found out here at night with the lights on in the cages getting their own work in. That's a test to who they are and the type of character we like to recruit here,” said Mattson.
The competition between dugouts come game day is fierce, but there's another game the girls play with each other that keeps them striving for more.
“When someone hits a home run it’s like a competition to see who will hit the most,” said Davis.
“If she hits a home run, I want to go out there and hit two home runs,” said Boucher. “The ultimate goal is to win and if everybody’s trying to outdo everybody else, you're ultimately going to help the team out.”
Boucher, a sophomore, transferred in after a three home run season last year and already has 10 this year. She credits the drastic improvement to the coaching staff.
“They know the expectations that's put on them and they definitely have the talent to get there and do great things,” said Mattson. “They're always hungry. They know we got the magic. We just got to do the work.”
“I think what’s keeping us going is the ultimate goal. We all want to go to Utah for nationals. We all want to win. We want to get the ring,” said Boucher.
Up next for the team is a big game Thursday. AC will play No. 2 nationally ranked Tyler Junior College. It will be a double header at the Ladyroadrunners Complex, starting at 1 p.m.
For a complete list of team stats, click here.
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