CHICKASHA – Things had begun to fall into place for the Lady Drovers softball team just as the first season under Head Coach Jenn White-Cody came to a close.

The team struggled throughout the year to get everyone in the right place to make the team the strongest it could be, Cody said. Only the pitchers and the catcher started the season playing the same position they finished in.

“Finally, we got a combination that worked,” Cody said. “At the end, we started to put a little bit together and we were getting better, it was just too late.”

Cody joined USAO in July as a first-time head coach. The biggest challenge she faced was dealing with all the little tasks and paperwork involved, but also learning exactly what she wanted to see out of the players, she said.

“We did learn a lot,” she said. “I think we grew as a team. I know I grew as a coach.”

And the Drovers hard work did pay off at the end of the season. They won four of their last seven games.

“My biggest highlight (was) about eight games from (the season) being over, you could see their improvement and how much they were getting better,” she said of the team.

Coming in during late summer, Cody said recruiting efforts were limited for last season, but she and Assistant Coach Ken Richardson have gotten a jumpstart on it for 2011.

“It’s going great,” she said. “We’re bringing in some good athletes. We’re going to improve next year … I’m excited.”

She said they have about 10 recruits coming in already, but the number might be higher by the fall. Because all of the Drovers’ pitchers will be gone next season, Cody has three pitchers lined up: One from junior college and three freshmen.

“That’s what’s fun for me — developing the kids,” she said.

She expects the team might struggle a bit early next season because the players will be young, she said.

“But I think after that, we’ll be rocking and rolling,” she said. “I’m excited about next year. I think there are good things to come.”

Published: May 4, 2010