MADILL — Making an impact is something every team dreams of doing each season.

MADILL — Making an impact is something every team dreams of doing each season.

Its something the Madill Lady Wildcats are bound and determined to do in 2017 as well.

Coming off a successful slow pitch season in the spring which brought with it a regional tournament appearance, the thought doesn’t sound as far fetched as many would think.

“We’ve been discussing for about the last two years about bringing the right attitude to the game of softball when we play,” Madill head coach Randy Rushing said. “These girls have been working very hard on that a lot of other things. It’s very hard for anyone to stay positive these days because they get down and they stay down.”

“Every year the kids change, and now a days you have to be able to coach them and just work with each girl as best you can,” Rushing added. “These girls know what to expect from me as far as effort and hustle, and I’m not afraid to tell them when they aren’t at their best.”

In order to change their future this season, the Madill Lady Wildcats will need to put to rest the demons of past seasons.

Since 2013, Madill softball hasn’t posted a winning record, or registered a 10-win season.

Last season, MHS went 7-24, just one year after going 8-26. 

To make matters worse, the Lady Wildcats struggled in the new district format in 2016, going 1-9 in district play.

For the most part, the district schedule will be the same this season, but there will be some slight changes in competition.

Lone Grove, Sulphur, Ada and Plainview will still be lurking on the schedule. But,Pauls Valley and Byng will be added to the new district 3-4A lineup. 

But, Madill is coming off a spring slow pitch season in which the team upset state-ranked Kingston in Kingston to win the district title as optimism is at an all-time high. 

This is thanks to a core group of senior players, along with six total freshmen and sophomore players making up the underclassmen list.

Bailey Gammill, Chole Austin, Kortlyn Row, Rylee Ruff, and Madison Jowers will make up the senior core of the Lady Wildcats this season.

Other players who will look to make an impact for MHS will include junior players Kayli Sweet, Kyann Melton, Gracie Jaggers, Camille Martinez, and Caitlin Gillis.

“There’s a good bunch of young girls on this squad,” Rushing said. “We’ve got some good freshmen players who are going to make things a lot easier for us this year. In years past I’ve had to have my catcher and my pitcher run because we didn’t have any extra girls for us to run with. This season though, we have girls willing to step up and take on that role for us.”

“Madison Jowers is trying to be a vocal senior for us right now,” Rushing added. “Bailey Gammill is another great senior leader for us as well. Chole might be new considering she got here last year, but I think her and the rest of our seniors are going to really step up and help lead by example.”

Madill will open the season on Aug. 7 on the road against Hugo, before opening district play against Lone Grove the following day. The Calera Tournament will then follow on Aug. 10-12. before the Lady Wildcats first home game of the season on Aug. 14 v. Tishomingo.