Darlington softball looks to continue winning tradition
By Will Isgett, Contributing Writer
Nestled off of Blue Street in Darlington is Lady Falcon field, which has been the home of many great teams over the years and with lots of hard work this team should be no different.
The 2016 version of the softball team is one filled with youth, and some very experienced players that should be able to lead the team to another playoff appearance and another battle with county rival Hartsville for the top spot in Region 6 3-A.
“We’ve got a very good team, we’re athletic,” Darlington head coach Tim Wiley said. “With lots of young talent and a mix of upperclassmen we’re coming together.”
The Lady Falcons opened their 2016 campaign with five games in the Pee Dee pitch off in Florence, losing to defending Class A state champion East Clarendon, and perennial Class 2A powers Aynor and Dillon, but pulled off wins against SCISA power Florence Christian and Class 4A Conway.
The Falcons dropped their home opener to South Florence 11-3 last week a game in which Darlington committed 11 errors.
Wiley said that scheduling tougher opponents to open the season will only help his team get better.
“We always try to play good teams at the beginning of the season,” Wiley said. “It will help us get better by the time region play is here.”
A region that features Hartsville, who is head and shoulders better than anyone else according to Wiley, an always competitive Marlboro County team, and teams like Crestwood, Lakewood and Manning who can spring an upset any night.
Wiley said the team must get better on mental errors before being able to compete for any title or playoff position. He also mentioned that the pitching must continue to get better.
“Our errors that we make are things we work on all the time in practice,” Wiley said. “You can’t make errors in a game if you expect to win.”
Wiley said the key to the success of the season is the team coming together and playing as a unit.
“We’ve got the talent, we’re fast and got power,” Wiley said. “We’ve got what it takes to be successful.”
The future certainly looks bright for the softball program as the Junior Varsity team won the Pee Dee pitch off in Florence and split a doubleheader with South Florence to open its season.
Upcoming home games for Darlington include Crestwood on March 18 and Dillon on March 23.