The Bottom Line
By Bill Nestor
The Lincoln softball and baseball teams have one thing in common early in their respective seasons – a quick start!
The weather has not only forced several cancellations for area squads, it has made some of the games that have been played nearly unbearable. However, the two Shinnston based groups have managed to bear down and come together to earn some impressive victories.
As of this past weekend, each team had garnered at least three wins and combined were undefeated.
The softball team, coached by Yancey Weaver, is 4-0 on the campaign. The wins have come against some impressive competition (East Fairmont, Buckhannon-Upshur, Robert C. Byrd, and Elkins) in unfriendly territory, and only the contest with the Flying Eagles was at home. Equally impressive is how they have garnered those “W”s. The Lady Cougars have outscored their opponents 41-8 while allowing more than one run just once. Inclement weather has cost them outings with Preston County and Keyser (both were scheduled to be played on the road). Weaver’s girls are churning out the big hits at key times, which is one of the main reasons they are producing runs at a rapid rate.
Lincoln will host a double header tomorrow as Petersburg comes to town. Next week a pair of home games against Liberty and Fairmont Senior gets the action started, followed by several tilts scheduled at North Marion.
The Cougar baseball team has also spent much of the early portion of their schedule on the road. A pair of wins over Gilmer County (the season opener) and Notre Dame was coupled with an incomplete lock-up with Elkins that will be finished later in April. The lone home contest was a victory over the Fighting Irish.
Prior to the start of this campaign, veteran mentor Mark Starkey mentioned that pitching would be a key for his group. So far they have delivered allowing just two runs per game. The Cougars have outscored their opponents by an average of six runs per match-up.
Tomorrow starts a streak of four consecutive games for Starkey and company in Shinnston. Liberty, St. Marys, Preston County, and Fairmont Senior will make their way to Cougar Country next week.
Now that the NCAA Tournament is over and the basketball season has been put to rest, there is little left to discuss about college hoops. My last concern has to do with West Virginia Head Coach Bob Huggins. Huggins once again turned in an impressive effort in guiding this year’s edition to some huge wins and a sweet 16 appearance. The AP Coach of the Year Award was given to Gonzaga’s Mark Few. Few deserved the award, but I’m surprised that Huggins didn’t receive a single vote. The panel that votes on the award is made up of 65 members of the national media. They found votes for ten additional coaches including fellow Big 12 mentors Bill Self (Kansas finished sixth) and Scott Drew (Baylor was tenth) who received votes. It’s a shame that Huggins wasn’t acknowledged for his efforts this year. It was one of his best since returning to his alma mater.
That will do it for now. Until next week … take care and God Bless!