Marengo Maverick softball team opens fall season in Centreville

Pictured above are (back row) Caroline Larkin, Mary Creigh Smith, Stevani Foster, Wessie Jacobs and Emily Lovette. Front row are Lizzie Cannon, Haylee Rowley, Weezie Hughes, Tayler Pipkins and Madison Ford. Coaches are Russell Pipkins, Jason Cannon and Cobey Rowley.

Pictured above are (back row) Caroline Larkin, Mary Creigh Smith, Stevani Foster, Wessie Jacobs and Emily Lovette. Front row are Lizzie Cannon, Haylee Rowley, Weezie Hughes, Tayler Pipkins and Madison Ford. Coaches are Russell Pipkins, Jason Cannon and Cobey Rowley.

The Marengo Maverick launched its fall season Saturday in the Swing Into Fall Tournament in Centreville. A 12U softball team featuring 10 girls from Demopolis, Linden and Livingston, the Maverick competed in a field that included more than 20 other teams.

“All our girls have played softball for years but they had never played a game together,” Jason Cannon, one of the team’s coaches, said. ”We went into Centreville just looking to work out the first game jitters and get some game experience.”

The Maverick dropped all three of its games including one to Tuscaloosa-based All-Out, the eventual champion.

“The goal for this first tournament was just to play well and take back some experience,” Cannon said. “We did that, and we showed a lot of fight and character in the process. Good things are ahead for this team once experience catches up with their ability.”

(ARTICLE CONTINUED BELOW GALLERY)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Helping that experience meet that ability is one of the designs of the program, an initiative the group’s coaches are using to help bridge gap between the end of the summer season and the start of league competition in the spring.

“We wanted to give these girls a place to play during the fall. Some of them cheer. Some of them play soccer. But some of them don’t. Once the spring is over with, they don’t really have anything to do, so they sit around the house and wait for softball season to start back over,” Cannon said. “What we were trying to do was give them a little break in the fall, play fall ball, give them a little break in the winter and they’ll roll into spring.”

“Just to let the girls get a little more playing time, experience and play some different teams in different places,” Russell Pipkins, one of the team’s coaches, explained. “We just want to try to get them a little bit more than what they normally get, keep them active during the year.”

For the tournament, Emily Lovette led Maverick batters, going 2-for-3 from the plate, including a three-run homer. Weezie Hughes, Caroline Larkin and Lizzie Cannon followed, each going 1-for-3. Madison Ford was 1-for-2.

Cannon, Larkin, Haylee Rowley and Tayler Pipkins each got time in the pitcher’s circle. Cannon threw 4 1/3 innings with 5 strikeouts. Rowley logged 2 1/3 innings while Larkin and Pipkins got one inning each.

The Maverick is set for its next tournament Oct. 3 in Cottondale.

“If we come out of the fall having played 12 or 15 games, I think we’d all be pretty happy with that,” Cannon said.

The team consists of Lizzie Cannon, Haylee Rowley, Tayler Pipkins, Mary Creigh Smith, Caroline Larkin, Wessie Jacobs, Stevani Foster, Weezie Hughes, Madison Ford and Emily Lovette.