Hard hits are what you’ll get when you face the El Campo Ladybirds.
The Ladybirds opened up the regular season Tuesday night at home with a 15-3 win over the Fort Bend Christian Academy Lady Eagles, a team they had yet to beat since they began playing them in 2015.
In the first inning against the Lady Eagles with two runners on, senior outfielder Madisyn Matlock sent a ball over the left-field wall for a home run. Matlock would end up driving in four of the Ladybirds 15 runs, getting a triple in the second inning. El Campo scored 11 of their 15 runs in the first two innings Tuesday night.
“Our hits are usually consistent at the very end (of a game). This time our hits were more upbeat early and we hit through the whole game” Matlock said. “I can just tell it’s going to be a good year.”
The explosion of offense Tuesday wasn’t unusual it has been the norm, of late. Dating back to the final two games last season, through scrimmages this year and Tuesday’s game, the Ladybirds have averaged 16.4 runs per outing.
Before Spring sports were shut down by the UIL last year, the Ladybirds scored 35 runs in their final two games. That team lost an offensive weapon in senior starting catcher Raven Contreras after graduation.
This year in their two scrimmages, they belted out 32 runs. Then they got hit with a once-in-a-decade Winter storm keeping them away from the diamond for more than a week.
Despite the starts and stops to their momentum, the Ladybirds have managed to stay hot at the plate.
With essentially a new team last year after losing 10 seniors the year before, the Ladybirds experienced growing pains starting 3-6, scoring more than five runs, just twice. In their final eight games, they scored at least 10 runs, all but once.
“I think half of (the team) were freshmen (last year),” Ladybirds coach Roxanne Cavazos said. “It was finding who you are and what it takes to be a team. The returning majority of our varsity team was able to learn from the little they were able to play last year.”
One of the strongest parts of the Ladybirds offense has been sophomore Kate Bubela. As a freshman, Bubela had four home runs in the Ladybird’s final three games, five total last year. Despite having the home-run machine, the Ladybirds have gotten offense throughout the lineup since starting district play last year.
As a team, dating back to the final three games last year and their game against Fort Bend Christian Academy, the Ladybirds are batting .409 as a team, with an on-base percentage of .481.
“I think after being in the program for a year and seeing the expectations, they’re realizing and understanding to adjust quicker,” Cavazos said. “We’re understanding the concept of picking each other up. They’re realizing softball is a team sport. If you go 0-3 but the person behind you goes 3-3, in the end, we’ll win as a team.”
With the Ladybirds reaching base nearly every other batter, they’re set to continue scoring a lot of runs this season.
Tuesday night the Ladybirds will go on the road to play Brazosport Tuesday night.