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Weather plays havoc on district prep

With a cold and wet spring playing havoc with its early-season schedule, the Halifax County High School varsity softball team has been limited in its preparation for the rigors of the Western Valley District.

But, like it or not, the time to prepare is behind them with the defending district regular season and tournament champion Comets playing two district games this week, starting with a home game with William Fleming High School on Tuesday. 

A key game at Patrick Henry High School follows on Friday, and the Comets end a busy week with a non-district game Saturday at Person High School in Person’s Breast Cancer Awareness game.

Halifax County travels to archrival Franklin County the following Tuesday.

The Comets enter district play with a 4-2 record but has not played a complete game since March 20, a 10-2 win at home over Person High School.

Thursday’s game with Amherst High School was called for sleet and rain with the Comets batting in the bottom of the second inning and the score tied 1-1.

Each team scored in similar fashion, with the Comets scoring their run in the first inning on a walk to Taylor Barnes, stolen base and RBI hit by Meg Bane.

“It’s just hard to get our momentum going,” said Comets Head Coach Melanie Saunders Thursday when talking about the lack of time on the field.

“This was our first game in two weeks because of spring break, and it’s just been hard getting that momentum going.”

“It’s the weather, but what can you do about it.”

With a roster including eight first-year varsity players, Saunders and Assistant Coach Jennifer Rutledge have spent as much time as possible rotating several players at different positions around the field to determine where they would best help the team.

Ninth-grader Taylor Barnes and senior Courtney Epps have seen the majority of time on the mound thus far for the Comets.

As always, Saunders wants her team to bring the same attitude to practice it would during a live game situation.

“Practicing is all we’ve been doing, but we’ve still got to come with fire in your eyes and that desire to get better,” Saunders explained.

“You have to come and treat drills as if it was a game,” she emphasized.

Saunders hesitated to use the excuse of cancelled and postponed games and resulting two-week gap between live game situations to explain her team’s coming out flat against Amherst on Thursday.

“It’s nothing anybody else has not been experiencing,” Saunders noted.

“They looked flat today, I guess not playing in two weeks and just practicing, but you have to take what the weather gives you and go with it.

“Who knew when we came out here today it would be sleeting, now raining and snowing.

“You can’t control it, but we’re trying to teach them to control the things that they can, and those they can’t, just go with it.”