Softball: Panthers, Tigers poised for late region run

In his second season leading the Lady Panthers, Chad Schildt sees some positives.

Carolina Forest softball is competitive. The Lady Panthers have an ace in pitcher Catie McGovern and some offensive firepower. However, the club remains a team in transition.

“We’ve kind of let a couple games get away from us,” Schildt said. “Right now, we’re trying to figure out what our identity is really. We have really, really good games. Swing the bats and have 14, 15 hits. Score a bunch of runs. And then we have some games where we sometimes just don’t show up. … We’re just trying to find that consistency.”

The Panthers (5-5 overall, 3-3 region) remain in the hunt for a playoff berth with four league games remaining, along with defending champion Conway (6-3, 4-2). Everyone in Region 6-5A is chasing undefeated South Florence, which claimed an 11-1 victory over Carolina Forest in its last outing.

“South Florence is a little better than I kind of expected, even though they’re always great,” said Conway coach Mike Skipper, whose team is second in the region. “They’ve arrived a little earlier than I was hoping. They’re hard to handle and they’re in the driver’s seat right now. And the rest of us are kind of looking up at them.”

Despite the growing pains, Schildt remains optimistic about his junior-laden squad’s potential and its mettle

“That’s the thing about these girls,” he said. “Ever since I took over, they try to grind it out. They don’t lay down. They constantly are trying to play for each other, which is something nice.”

Both teams will play in local tournaments over spring break before returning to region play next week.

Photo by Charles Perry/myhorrynews

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