Lady Hawks ‘most talented offense’ in 10 years: Hickam-Cruze

How good is Hardin Valley Academy’s softball offense?

“I consider this team the most talented group of girls I’ve ever coached as far as the offensive side,” said Whitney Hickam-Cruze, the only softball head coach in program history (10th season).

“Offense drives us.”

Finishing third in District 4-AAA at 12-4, 22-11 overall, the Lady Hawks have been “led by five seniors who have all had pretty solid years,” she said, first pointing to right fielder Sydney Dukes (No. 3 hitter in lineup, batting well above .500), and Kayla Domon (centerfielder), “a spark for us at the beginning of the lineup.”

Combined, “they’ve put up monster numbers,” she added.

Jayden Blosser “has been a leader behind the plate for us all four years,” Hickam-Cruze said.

Shortstop Jodie Parham and outfielder Mikaela Chavis “have been leaders both verbally and with their actions this season.”

Top pitchers Mariah Hall, a sophomore, and Emalee McCord, a junior, “for the most part have gotten the job done,” the coach said.

While “run-ruling” Catholic to end the regular season, Hardin Valley will take its No. 3 District 4-AAA tourney seed and play the No. 6 seed Lady Irish beginning at 8 p.m., tonight, Thursday, May 3, at William Blount, the No. 2 seed and early-round tourney host.

“If we’re going to make a run at it in the tournament, we’re going to have to really put some runs on the board,” Hickam-Cruze said.

“If we get hot in the tournament, these girls can win it.”

Bearden (No. 7 seed) is the other team in HVA’s 4-AAA tourney group of four.

Top seed Farragut is hosting the other four teams.