Lady Bears rolling through softball season; Little Cypress-Mauriceville coach breaks down why

Published 3:45 pm Thursday, March 30, 2023

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LITTLE CYPRESS — The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Lady Bears softball team is in the midst of a dominant season.

The squad started the season with a 21-5 overall record, several emerging star players and a six-game winning streak in district play. The vibes have never been better in LCM.

“The cohesion of these girls playing together is a huge factor in their success,” said Head Coach Dena Adkins. “Everybody that’s on this field except for a couple of freshmen were here last year. Plus, those freshmen that I got this year are outstanding athletes and softball players, and they’re making a lot of difference in our program.”

The Lady Bears are an extremely young team — the roster includes one senior and two juniors. They don’t play like they’re young, though. Adkins said she could brag on every single one of her players’ contributions to the team’s success.

Freshman Eden Frenzel leads the team with 22 hits, and her elite speed gives her the ability to turn anything into extra bases. Lexis Moss is the best power hitter to wear a Lady Bears uniform since Bailey Frenzel, and Jacelyn Cook has been on fire at the plate this season.

Ella Stephenson and Tessa Erickson anchor the pitching staff, while Keylie Washburn and Ava Wright are great on defense at third base and in the outfield, respectively. LCM’s lone senior, Ansley Moore, sets a positive example for younger players to follow with her attitude and determination.

“I’m just blessed in the fact that these kids come to me playing ball for years, and they’ve never put a bat down,” Adkins said. “They work on their skills all the time. I have a team full of ballplayers — not just athletes.”

Clearly, this group of student-athletes is talented. The Lady Bears boast an outstanding .350 team batting average, and they score double-digit runs on a regular basis. Nine players have tallied double-digit hits on the season, as well.

“We try to coach them up in the mental game,” Adkins said. “We talk about how they approach the plate and the positive thinking aspects like manifesting what you want to happen. We also hammer the little things. Do the little things right and everything else will fall into place.”

On the defensive side, the Lady Bears pitching staff is among the best in the region.

Adkins said while many programs are lucky to have one standout pitcher, LCM has four.

There are some things you just can’t coach, too.

There’s no guarantee that teammates will always get along. However, that hasn’t been a problem for the Lady Bears.

Adkins praised the way her players handle themselves on and off the field — the team is clicking, the chemistry is great and there hasn’t been any drama, either.

“They all have fun out here together,” said Adkins. “We come out here for practice and everyone’s smiling, we’re laughing and having a good time. The girls just work well off of each other.”

With the regular-season schedule coming to a close, the team is locked in on winning the District 19 title.

As for what it’ll take to achieve that goal? Adkins’ answer was short, sweet and to the point: “Get the little things right, come to practice and get your mind right so you don’t have to work as hard during the game.”

— Written by Keagan Smith