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GOSHEN – It’s been a banner first season so far for the North Oldham Middle School softball team.
The Lady Mustangs have posted a 6-0 record in the Jefferson County Middle School softball league and are in first place in the East division, a game ahead of Barrett Traditional.
“They have really been above and beyond our expectations,” NOMS coach Scott Adell said. “We knew we had a couple of players with some experience. These girls have really worked their tails off.”
Adell and several other parents started the program this winter to establish a feeder program for the North Oldham High School program.
The players started working out in the NOMS gym in January with running and agility drills for three weeks.
Of the 17-man roster, six of the players had little or no experience.
The Lady Mustangs practice on the weekends at the NOHS field. Adell said they have all improved and contributed to the team and most will play this summer.
The Jefferson County league has 12 teams in two divisions. Games are played at the Lyndon Little League complex.
The league will likely grow and become more competitive with the recent ruling by the Jefferson County school system to ban middle school athletes from playing varsity sports at the high school level.
Adell said it’s important that the middle school athletes play middle school sports from an emotional and physical maturity standpoint.
“It helps them build confidence playing with girls their own age,” Adell said. “We’re hoping that rule makes everyone realize how important something like middle school softball can be to all the high schools.”
NOMS has been dominant in all but one of its wins this season, outscoring opponents 72-7.
The Lady Mustangs have posted wins over Myers, two Christian Academy teams, Barrett, Crosby and Kammerer.
The Kammerer win was the most competitive with NOMS winning 2-1.
The Lady Mustangs’ Jessica Adell and Kammerer’s Maddie Purcell battled through a classic pitcher’s duel.
NOMS came out on top in dramatic fashion when Hannah Dugan laid down a near-perfect sacrifice bunt to score Sam Maiocco. Maiocco was three-for-three in the game and scored both NOMS runs.
The Lady Mustangs have two regular season games left before starting a single-elimination tourney to crown the league champion.
Two of the players dress for the NOHS varsity and two more for the JV team, but middle school games have first priority.
“Right now they are getting the best of both worlds,” Adell said.
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