Coaches Corner with Softball’s John Gallagher
The ReSporter: When you have a very quick player to lead off and can get on
with a bunt, why do you bat Robinson first, when she has an opportunity to have players on base more and using her bat to knock then in?
Coach Gallagher: “I look at first, a player that can consistency get on and Alexis Robinson has a high percentage of getting a base hit. When you use a player that bunts well and has speed the defense can read that and play in more. With that player (DuBois) in the two hole you have the ability to slap, bunt, hit, and get that runner over without having to give up an out. It also puts more pressure on the defense not knowing how to play that hitter. Your leadoff hitter after the first at bat usually does not lead off more than once more, and we try to put speed in the 9th spot so she can hit in the bottom of the order. We also try to put contact hitters toward the bottom of the lineup to help with getting on base.”
The ReSporter: What do you do when you are approaching Spring Break with a long time off? Does this disrupt your team’s momentum? And if it does do you have ways to keep them sharp?
Coach Gallagher: “We will play tonight and practice this week before taking a few days off. We will then practice and play in the San Marcos tournament to get ready for district play on the 18th. I think they know to stay sharp during their five days off. Alexis Robinson needs to keep throwing and working hard to keep up her stamina. She will get alot of work over the next two weeks and then be ready for our first district game. We are still trying to finalize our starters and the girls are making it very hard because we have so many players hitting with higher averages. We have some room to experiment but we want consistency first.”
The ReSporter: In Robinson’s last 6 games she has compiled some good dominance from the circle….how do you manage her now as you enter a tournament then district play?
Coach Gallagher: “Our defense has been key. They have played well and minimized errors. They are playing without fear and that builds confidence.
We preach that the better the pitcher the more we can play our game. Our hitting has been very consistent and the attitude that it doesn’t matter who we face is starting to show the positives.”
The ReSporter: When you have several players batting over .300, how do you come up with who you might play for any given game?
Coach Gallagher: “I try to teach everyone to work a pitcher if she is struggling with control. Our walk % is above average and these players know that getting on base whichever way they can is paramount. They are learning to focus on a good strike zone and hit good pitches and I let the others go without swinging.”
The ReSporter: Assess this District….how much do you know about the teams so far? What are you looking for with this team as you put your final touches to a team to make their stretch run?
Coach Gallagher: “District will be tough as is has in the past. I don’t expect a letdown from anyone and I think we will have to be on our game to get wins. Our confidence and record thus far gives us a chance. The team is excited and can’t wait to open up our district season. If we stay focused and injury-free we will be very competitive.”
The ReSporter: Thanks Coach and stay warm at your game tonight.