Brittany McGee leading the way as DHS strives for greatness

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 4, 2005

DEMOPOLIS – Senior Brittany McGee is one of the key factors to the success of the 2005 Demopolis High School softball team, as she has taken her pitching – and her game – to a brand new level.

McGee has pitched extremely well this season, compiling a 17-8 record thus far.

“I didn’t have much experience coming into this year,” McGee said.

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“It feels really good to be doing so well.

I feel like our defense has really gotten better and that really helps because I don’t pick up many strikeouts.

So I have to have a good defense because I get a lot of ground balls.”

After spending her first three years at third base, the adjustment to becoming an everyday pitcher has come fairly easily for McGee.

“We’ve laughed about the fact that last year and the year before she threw 10-12 innings,” DHS head coach Wayne Harris said.

“She had to get most of her practice throwing batting practice and that’s one of the things that made her so good.

Her parents have told her that sometimes you have to wait your turn and she played third base for three plus years and now she has stepped up and carried the workload for us.

She hasn’t had to pitch every game, but she’s had to pitch quite a majority of them and she’s done a good job.”

According to McGee, her accuracy and endurance have improved this season, which has helped to carry her game to a higher level.

“I think I’ve been hitting my spots a lot better and my endurance has improved,” McGee said.

“At the first of the season, I would get tired by the sixth or seventh inning.

I think I’m really getting stronger and I’m also mentally tougher.

I don’t get frustrated quite as easily and I’m a little bit more patient.

Offensively, there’s a lot of room for improvement.”

Coach Harris has worked with McGee for the past four seasons, and he has seen tremendous improvement in her ball control.

“She’s not going to throw the ball 65 miles-per-hour and overpower anybody,” Harris said.

“She doesn’t have that fantastic, wonderful changeup or curve, but she’s very effective moving the ball around and she picks pitches wisely and picks spots wisely.

If somebody gets a hit, then the job is to get the next person out.

And she’s done a good job of that.”

As McGee is now in her final year at DHS, she feels the level of competition, at least from a personal standpoint, has risen over the years.

“As a senior, I feel so much more at that level of competitiveness – I feel really excited because I’m not as good as I can be yet, I haven’t reached that point – and I know we’re going to get there,” McGee said.

“We haven’t peaked yet, that’s what I really like.

Sometimes teams peak too early and I think we’re going to peak right at the right time – right at tournament time.”

As far as leadership is concerned, coach Harris believes McGee is a true example of leadership both on and off the field of play.

“You couldn’t ask for a better leader both on and off the field,” Harris said.

“Academically, she’s in the top portion of her class and on the field she’s a leader.

And you hope that everyone will look to her for that example and hopefully some of that will carry us.

We would love to win 11 straight right now – that would get us back to where we want to be heading into the postseason.”

This afternoon, McGee will officially sign a letter of intent to play softball next season at the University of West Alabama.

Check tomorrow’s edition of The Times for full coverage of McGee moving on to the next level.

DHS softball team knocks in 10-0 shutout

DEMOPOLIS – The Demopolis High School Lady Tigers varsity softball team defeated Choctaw County 10-0 on Monday afternoon at the DHS ballpark.

Brittany McGee picked up the win for DHS, pitching a complete game one-hitter, giving up only one walk and striking out nine.

Leading the way offensively for Demopolis was Lara Tucker and India Chancelor with two hits each.

Also contributing for the Lady Tigers was Molly Barnes with an RBI single and Dorothy Knapp with a single.

Yesterday’s scheduled home game was cancelled by Tuscaloosa County.

The Lady Tigers return to action tomorrow afternoon Groove Hill.