With 17 girls out, the squad has just three juniors and one sophomore, while the rest are eighth and ninth-graders, giving Runels quite a bit to work with.
The HG coach said he is encouraged by how things are going after a 3-1 start overall, including a 1-1 showing in ICSGA (Independent Christian Schools of Georgia and Alabama Athletic Association) play.
In moving to the ICSGA in its second year of existence, Holy Ground can now participate in postseason play, something Runels said the team is excited about.
But he said the No. 1 priority right now is improving each time out — whether it be at practice or in live game action.
“Most of these girls, a lot of these girls, have never really played the game before. So, really, we’re just starting with the basics and fundamentals of the game. Starting from scratch and teaching them the fundamentals,” Runels said.
“We’ve done that with some camps and took them down to Auburn University and just let them be around the game itself and just understanding and seeing the game. We’ve got about three girls that have played travel ball, and that always helps.”
Runels said the team has a strong eighth-grade pitcher in Janna Carlson.
“She’s got a lot of speed. We’re working on her rise ball and change-up. In fastpitch softball, that’s the ticket: pitching,” Runels said. “We’ve had good pitching thus far.”
Runels said the girls have come a long way since starting the program last season, though he notes they’re still learning the game and the fundamentals of it.
“But they’ve came a long way with understanding the game better. So we’re excited about that,” Runels said.