With the season opener on Tuesday, first-year Effingham County High School softball coach Matt Huntley hopes the scrimmage against Groves chased away any anxiety his team might have had.
The Lady Rebels scored early and often in their tuneup with Groves, but the results on the scoreboard mattered less to Huntley than those things that are harder to measure in a scorebook.
“I think the main thing the scrimmage did was getting the jitterbugs out,” he said. “I think it was good for them, and it was good for us. It gives the coaches a chance to do a dress rehearsal before the first game.”
The scrimmage against Groves allowed Huntley and his staff to see how his team would handle certain situations. The Lady Rebels also went up against live pitching from someone other than their own hurlers whom they know so well — from what and how they pitch to what pitch they’re likely to throw in a given spot.
Effingham has a few spots on the starting roster still up for grabs in the next few days, Huntley said.
“We still have some defensive positions that are wide open right now,” he said. “There are some positions we are considering players for.”
Huntley said he could tell his team was a little nervous during pre-game infield drills, but they quickly settled down once they took their first turn at-bat.
Now, he trusts that will ease the way into the season opener against rival South Effingham at the Lady Mustangs’ home field.
“I hope we can roll right into Guyton without any nerves,” he said.