MADILL — Since 2013, the Madill Lady Wildcats fast pitch softball team has found success hard to come by.

MADILL — Since 2013, the Madill Lady Wildcats fast pitch softball team has found success hard to come by.

However, with three seniors returning this season along with a strong core of underclassmen making up a solid nucleus, hopes are high this season as Madill looks to make a return to the regional tournament.

“We’re taking things one day at a time,” Madill coach Randy Rushing said. “I lost five starters off the team from last year that were all pretty good players. We’ve got a youth movement going on this year. Overall, we’ve got a big upside to us this year, and we’re got a lot of athletic talent.”

In order to pave the way for a better 2018, the Lady Wildcats will first have to buck a trend which unfortunately continued last year.

Madill finished the season with an overall record of 8-24, one year after finishing at 7-24.

In the 2016 campaign the Lady Wildcats struggling to an 8-26 finish.

Madill will be looking to post not only its first winning record in multiple years this season, but its first 10-win season, as well as a possible trip to the regional tournament.

Speaking of regionals, that’s the prize given to the top four finishers in district play this season, as a trip to the bi-district tournament is no longer guaranteed.

Madill will have to navigate its way through the super competitive District 4A-3 which includes Sulphur, Ada, Byng, Pauls Valley, Plainview and last years Class 4A state runner-up in the Lone Grove Lady Horns.

“There’s definitely been an emphasis to our girls that they need to take every pitch seriously and every game they need to play hard,” Rushing said. “We can’t afford to lose two games against any opponent in district play, we have to go for at least a split if it’s possible.”

“Obviously Sulphur is a very tough squad,” Rushing added. “Lone Grove is always a very tough team to play. Our district is going to be very difficult, but we believe we have what it takes to compete and make something happen if we give enough effort this season.”

Taking charge for the Lady Wildcats on the field leadership wise will be three seniors in Camille Martinez, Kyann Melton, and Kayli Sweet.

Also stepping in this season will be junior McKenzie Reed and sophomore Xeima Gomez.

Last season Melton finished the year with a .315 batting average to go with a .957 fielding average.

“Kyann has definitely been stepping up and taking on the role as team captain,” Rushing said. “My other two seniors are also doing a great job. Kyann has really tried to set an example not just with the way she plays, but she’s really being wanting to be a vocal leader as well.”

Madill will be opening the season on Monday on the road against Hugo, before entering district play on Tuesday against Lone Grove in a doubleheader at home. 

The Lady Wildcats will then participate in the Calera Tournament beginning on Aug. 9.