After being only one season removed from an NJCAA national championship in 2012, the Chattanooga State Lady Tigers' softball team is on track to compete for another this year. Earlier in the month of March, the Lady Tigers broke into the national top-20 rankings, debuting at number two and are currently sitting at the eighth position nationally, still within the top-10. Coach Blythe Golden has seven Sophomores on this year's roster and 11 freshman, but she knows her experienced players have played a large role in her team's success. "Our leadership from our more experienced players has been huge for our team so far this year, they have really stepped up", said Golden after 2 wins in a double-header against conference foe Dyersburg State on March 21st.
Coach Golden also pointed toward her batting lineup and an ace pitcher that have been big fundamental parts of the game that they have done very well all season. "Our batting lineup has power all up and down the list, and they all have done very well at that this season, keeping us in every game and winning quite a few, as well", said Golden. In particular, sophomore shortstop Baylee Williams has had a very solid season at the plate, leading the team in batting average with a .464 and also in doubles with 11. Sliding in to home plate.
In the pitching rotation, Sophomore Shelby Willard has been sharp all season long for the Lady Tigers. She has 13 wins and no losses so far on the season, so when she is on the mound for the Lady Tigers they have a solid chance at winning every time. Willard's pitching backed by a good amount of run support has helped propel this team into the position they find themselves in now.
With 20 games still left on the schedule and 18 of those 20 games being against teams in the Region 7 TCCAA Conference, the Lady Tigers still have some work cut out for them in the weeks to come. In order to clinch a berth to the National Championship tournament, they must win their conference's regular season title. They are currently sitting 1st in the region, but the Lady Tigers know that they will need to finish the season strong to clinch that berth.