Central-Phenix City pitcher, Glenwood softball coach lead their teams to successful seasons

dmitchell@ledger-enquirer.comJune 13, 2013 

Central High softball pitcher Allie Kelley and Glenwood softball coach Dusty Perdue put together fantastic campaigns in 2013.

For Kelley, it was 31 wins and 179 strikeouts pitching. For Perdue, it was a 26-6 record and another appearance in the AISA state tournament.

For their accomplishments, they have been named the All-East Alabama softball player and coach of the year.

Both recognize the high level of success, but they also say it wouldn't have been possible without a little help from their friends.

Kelley was dominant in the circle. In comparison to her 31 wins, she lost just six times and sported a 1.85 earned run average. Much of that success, she said, can be attributed to her confidence in the players behind her.

"I give a lot of credit to our defense," she said. "I can't do it all by myself when I'm out there. I know when I'm pitching, I can do my thing and they're going to do their thing. They came through in a lot of big situations. It's definitely a good feeling to have."

Kelley, a sophomore, said that if that trend continues, she can continue to perform at a high level.

"I'm just going to keep getting better each year," she said. "As long as I have them behind me, I'm sure I'll be able to put up good numbers."

The same can be said for the Glenwood softball team, a perennial contender in the AISA. This year, the Lady Gators fell short of the state championship they had hoped for, but still participated in the state tournament.

In addition, it was a young team without any seniors. Still, it was able to finish in fourth at the state tournament.

"I was probably more hands on this year than any year I've been a head coach," Perdue said. "There was a lot of positive motivation, too. You can't ride them like you might a senior team. You don't want to break them too early."

Both Kelley and Glenwood will work throughout the offseason to try to perform at an even higher level in 2014. Kelley said that was a big part of her success last season, improving her strength during the summer. That will once again be the goal this year.

"It's pretty much year round," she said of softball. "We only have a couple months off, and then we get back at it. We're doing stuff every day during the summer. It's time consuming, but when you're doing something you love to do, it's fun. It'll pay off in the end."

She's hoping that will be in the form of success in her final two seasons in high school and also a college scholarship when the time comes.

"I'm just going to keep getting better," Kelley said. "Get better each year. My goal is to get to college playing softball. It's just one step at a time right now, though. I got a lot better this year, but I have a long way to go. I need to get better with my velocity and just trust my pitches more. I just have to keep getting better."

For Glenwood, the future once again looks bright in 2014. It will return the entire lineup from a fourth-place finisher and will also have two seniors.

"We'll be competitive again," Perdue said. "We're looking at making a run at a state championship again next year."

David Mitchell, 706-571-8571; Follow David on Twitter@leprepsports.

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