Bob Jones Softball Nationally Ranked- Head For Alabama State Playoffs
MADISON- What was expected to be a banner season has become a fact for the Bob Jones softball team as the Lady Patriots have a No. 4 Class 7A ranking in Alabama and a No. 12 spot in the national rankings.
“This team has jelled as everybody plays their best and works hard to exceed,” said Whitney Deaver head coach of Bob Jones. “We’ve had some players step up in their play and we have improved on both sides of the ball. In the close games, we’ve been mentally tough. These girls want the ball in tough situations.”
The Pats posted a 29-3 record going into the final week of the season with the post-season playoffs the first week in May.
As a team, the red, white and blue squad is batting .385 with a .628 slugging percentage and a .449 on base average. Seven different players have provided a total of 36 homeruns.
Bob Jones is hitting the ball for great offensive statistics, but it’s pitching is where the victories are really adding up. As a team, the ERA is 0.64. The Pats on the mound have posted 297 strikeouts in 185 innings with 15 shutouts and five no hitters. Tops in the pitching rotation is junior Emma Rolfe, an Auburn commit, who is 18-2. Senior Megan Shurtz, who has signed to play at UAH, is next with an 11-1 won-loss mark heading into the final weeks of 2021.
“We have two freshmen who have been big pluses for us, especially on offense,” added Deaver. “Charlotte Herron is batting .500 and Natalia Kenyatta is at .468 on the season.”
Bob Jones heads into the post-season with only one major injury. Starting centerfielder Caroline Brown, a junior, suffered a season-ending finger injury, but Deaver feels good depth in the outfield positions should allow for a sufficient fill-in. “She was a great leader for us,” said Deaver of Brown.
The national ranking is part of the USA Today/NFCA High School Super 25. The Patriots are one of three teams from Alabama to make the national rankings. Hewitt-Trussville (33-2-1) is No. 3 and Spain Park (30-5) comes in at No. 24.
Deaver feels her team is in the correct frame of mind concerning the national ranking. She added, “They don’t get caught up in the national attention. Most of the girls joke about it as all that matters to them is the playoffs and making it to the State Tournament.”