Playing large schools and taking down top 10 teams. That’s what the Hatton softball team is about. At least that’s what any Hatton softball player will tell you.
But then again, it’s hard to argue with them. The Hornets pulled off back to back wins over top 10 teams. They took down Madisonville (Kentucky) 5-3 before turning around and dispatching class 5A #5 Ardmore 4-2.
The funny thing is, head coach Denton Bowling still had to yell at his team after their second win, not because of poor performance, but because of lack of excitement for their win.
“Ya’ll just beat a top 10 team, get jacked,” Bowling yelled at his team, after which he replied “that sucked,” to their attempt at getting excited.
Sounds like a problem that a lot of high school coaches would love to have.
“Things like that, sometimes they don’t appreciate the things they do,” Bowling said. “That’s the joy of coaching. We get to remind them, ‘hey you know, we’re not supposed to win these games.' ”
A 2A program isn’t supposed to win games against top programs from larger classifications. But then again, most 2A programs aren’t Hatton, which has five state championships dating back to 2010.
It has become the norm for Hatton players, which is just the way they like it.
“It feels pretty dominant. It feels like we came to work and got our job done,” said Hatton senior Cloey Lovelady. “Playing larger schools is what we’re used to.”
“This is just another game for us, it’s normal,” added eighth grader Bradyn Mitchell. “We play 6As, 7As, whoever. We just go out, play hard and get the win.”
Hatton’s coach sees it just the way they do.
“I’m happy about it, I’m proud of them,” Bowling said. “But it’s who we are and what we do. We come out here and compete. It doesn’t matter who’s in the other dugout. There’s a standard here and that’s what makes this program special.”
As for their coach yelling at them over lack of excitement, well they don’t take that too personally.
“It’s nothing new for him,” Lovelady laughed. “He does that a lot, but it’s a good yell.”
Hatton knocked off Ardmore 4-2, behind Ashley Berryman’s strong pitching in the circle.
Laney Jeffreys had a two RBI double in the game to give them their first runs and Mallory Lane followed that up with a two run shot later.
“Ardmore is a great team,” Bowling said. “Ashley pitched a gem. We got in a bind in these elements (the game was played in the rain) but they competed. Laney Jeffreys had a big hit and Mallory Lane followed that up with a bomb.”
Hatton didn’t get the chance to go three for three when their game against Buckhorn was rained out but two for two is still good.
The Hornets will be back in action at the Bob Jones Invitational tonight and tomorrow.