Catamounts swing hot bats leading to success in 2013
Taylor Rice leading nation at .622 clip
|Potomac State's Taylor Rice leads the nation in hitting with an impressive .622 batting average and has her Catamounts poised for their first Region XX Championship. Phot by Raymond Burner. Want to see more Potomac State Softball photos? Click here.|
By Roy Harper
Keyser, WV- When you watch the 2013 Potomac State softball team play you better get a good vantage point to see home plate. Because chances are you are going to seeing lots of Potomac State College players stomping on it. As of today the Lady Cats are the 2nd leading hitting team in all of Division II NJCAA softball.
Potomac State, 20-4 is hitting a gaudy .434 clip with an on base percentage of .487 and a slugging percentage of .610 all of which rank as some of the best in the nation.
In fact, Potomac State was leading the nation in most of those categories just last week.
Individually, Sophomore Taylor Rice is leading the nation in hitting with an unbelievable .622 batting average. Watching the slick fielding centerfielder hit is like watching a cobra snake uncoil into attack mode, as she sways into pitches with the athleticism and balance of a ninja coupled with the power of a karate black-belt champion.
The Ridgeley, WV native has 51 hits in 82 at bats, driven in 22 runs, with three doubles, four triples and three home runs.
Despite the impressive numbers the left-handed hitter remains ultra-humble.
Rice spoke of her success: "If it wasn't for our pitchers, pitching as well as they have and other people getting on base for me and hitting me around, and Coach (Walton) the way he teaches us and coaches us I wouldn't be how I am today."
Potomac State Head Coach Jim Walton has an easy decision penciling Rice's name in to the leadoff position each game and likes the way she has added the long ball to her arsenal this season.
"She's our leadoff hitter, and this year she's not only slapping, she's (also)hitting the ball with power and she's obviously leading the country in Division II as far as hitting."
While Walton loves the offense put up by Rice, he knows his biggest asset might be her defense as she patrols centerfield.
"Her biggest asset for us on defense is her defense, she plays an excellent centerfield and it's hard to take her out of that position."
While Rice leads the nation she doesn't need to look too far to find others who are ranked nationally as teammates Savannah Hose and Morgan Wright are ranked sixth and tenth respectively.
Wright a freshman from Buckhannon, WV is hitting at a .545 clip 36-66 with eight doubles, two triples and two home runs. Her on base percentage is .589 and slugging percentage stands at .818.
Hose a Ridgeley, WV native who ranks 6th with a .549 average knows why the success has come to this year's team.
"A big key this year that has made us more successful is that we all work together," said Hose. "We all back each other up and motivate each other."
With all this success, Walton is keeping things in perspective with eyes on the ultimate prize; a Region XX Championship. Potomac State softball has never claimed a Region XX title.
"First of all only six teams in the Region make the tournament. We're looking to make the tournament, and then make an impact in the tournament. Obviously, we want to be the first team from Potomac State to win the Region XX and that's our goal. But until we get in we play one game at time and we look to get in the tournament and then the sky's the limit."
If the Catamounts continue this torrid pace Coach Walton and the 2013 Potomac State Softball team just may reach that goal.