Softball team heads to state, baseball done

Home Archived Sports Softball team heads to state, baseball done

Jamie Dickerson

Published: April 26, 2006

America’s favorite pastime, baseball, has its own distinctive flavor.  The smell of freshly cut grass before a game, the scent of the concession stand full of hotdogs and burgers, the sound of a mitt popping, the cracking of the bat as a ball is crushed off the sweet spot, the overwhelming feeling of confidence and pride after a spectacular play; all of these things are factors that make baseball the great sport that it is.

PJC men’s baseball and women’s softball seasons have been underway for quite some time now.  In fact, regular season wrapped up this week.

The baseball team’s year may not have gone quite how they would have liked it, but overall, it was a big success.  They finished with a three-game win streak and their season record stands at 29-22 and 9-15 in conference play. 

Bill Hamilton is the head coach for the baseball team.  While he also wished his team could have done a little better, he couldn’t be more proud of them.

“We have been plagued with a lot of injuries this year, which will always hurt you, but I am very proud of how all the guys on the team pulled together and kept fighting,” Hamilton said.

“This team is probably the most well behaved and hard working group of guys I’ve coached in quite some time.”

Ryan Bergh, a sophomore, and Austin Garrett, freshman, are pitchers for PJC this year.  Bergh has signed to pitch with Old Dominion.

“We had a tough year with the injuries and all, but this is a great group of guys and we learned a lot this year from Coach Hamilton,” Bergh said.

Garrett will be returning for his sophomore year next season and said he is looking forward to having a fresh start and being a leader for next year’s team.

Coach Hamilton has been able to make a lot of positive changes during his tenure at PJC, and said he has had plenty of help.  He gives credit and thanks to assistant head coach Doug Martin, and assistant coaches Greg Blackman, Chris Santiago, and Matt Wood for the outstanding job they did this year.

The softball team has extended its season with a fourthplace finish in the division and a spot in the State Tournament.  Their current record is 25-16, 9-11 in conference play with four games left.

This is Brenda Pena’s ninth year at PJC as the woman’s softball head coach.  Pena actually received the first scholarship at PJC for softball when she attended school here.

Asked about her team, Pena said, “This is a wonderful bunch of ladies who have outstanding team chemistry.  We are like a big family around here.  I would do anything for these girls.”

Coach Pena said that her team needs to stop leaving so many players on base, but she thinks they will be a very tough team for anyone that may cross their path.

Amanda Leggett, who is a starting pitcher for the Lady Pirates, and Holley Joyner, shortstop, are the only two sophomores on the team.

“We’ve had a lot of responsibilities being leaders, but we have had a lot of fun because we have such a great team,” Leggett said.

Leggett is going to attend South Alabama to play softball.  Joyner doesn’t know where she is going yet, but she does know that she, too, will be playing softball.  Leggett and Joyner are also very confident in the rest of the season and the state tournament.

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