Harris County softball team led by five seniors

September 19, 2012 

HAMILTON, Ga. -- The five seniors on the Harris County softball team aren't the loudest or most vocal members of the team.

They don't tell the younger players what to do or assume control of the identity of the team.

What they do, coach Brook Zuerner said, is get the job done. And that, more than anything, is why the Lady Tigers have had such a successful run throughout the season so far.

Behind the "composed, calm and dependable" senior class, which, Zuerner said, is a perfect example of the team motto "One Heartbeat," Harris County (16-7, 3-0) leads Region 1A-AAAAA and has put itself in good position to make a run at the state tournament.

"The ultimate goal is to be one of the eight teams playing in Columbus," Zuerner said. "I think it would be even more special to them."

The group, which includes Samantha Holt, Shelby Hagler, Kirsten Kopp, Lauren Munoz and Teale Moran, forsakes flash in favor of consistency, statistics in favor of results.

Only two of the five have a batting average above .300, Moran at .411 and Munoz at .333, but Zuerner said just their presence on the field is a blessing.

"All of them have been here since eighth grade," she said. "They've pretty much done it all. They've been through the ringer. I think they're great examples of what it means to put on that jersey every game day."

And those are the things, the players agreed, that made them successful.

It's the comfort level with each other.

Having played together for so long, they know each other and know each others' tendencies. They know strengths and weaknesses and aren't afraid to point them out to each other.

"In softball, if you're close to each other, you get better," Holt said. "You can explain things to each other without getting made."

Kopp noted her connection with Hagler on the left side of the infield. Hagler, who plays third, can go deep into the hole on the left side well, which allows Kopp to player closer to second base.

"We know our habits and know each others' abilities," she said. "We see every day what the other person can do."

And it's the tradition.

For the five seniors, it isn't just about having success this year. It's about showing the younger players how things are done and how to continue the success into the future.

That doesn't mean teaching, necessarily, or being extra coaches. It means staying positive at difficult parts of games, keeping the chatter going in the dugout and passing along the traditions that they have picked up over the years.

"We try to lead by example so that the underclassmen don't feel like we're telling them what to do," Hagler said. "It's more of, this is how we do it, and this is how we want you guys to be able to carry it on. It's leaving our tradition."

"We just want to make sure we're being role models and passing along the things we've learned," Munoz added.

And, of course, winning always makes things easier.

Right now, that's something Harris County has done a lot of, despite a recent rough patch that has seen it lose three of its last four.

And, while the girls have enjoyed the regular-season success, they want to take it further into the postseason.

"All five of us want to make it to state really bad," Holt said. "We're pushing ourselves as hard as we can to get there."

Holding to the description Zuerner gave of her seniors, however, that doesn't necessarily mean doing anything out of the ordinary.

It means going out and taking care of the little things every game.

"We're trying to do the little things instead of the extravagant plays," Hagler said. "We're just trying to do what it takes to get the job done. We want to make the plays and do whatever it takes to score more than the other team at the end of the game."

David Mitchell, 706-571-8571

Ledger-Enquirer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service