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Farmington Hills

North Farmington focuses on improvement, not record

May 12, 2014

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Alexa Cherney delivers a pitch during a May 10 game at Harrison. The Raiders are looking to get everything on track with districts approaching.

FARMINGTON HILLS — The start was flashy.

Since then, the record has been modest.

Neither fact particularly concerns or excites Dave Brubaker.

In fact, given the difficultly of schedule the North Farmington softball team attacks on a yearly basis, the Raiders’ skipper keeps his motivations a bit simpler, with the bigger goal in mind.

“We’re trying to stay healthy and kind of get things on track right now,” Brubaker said last week. “Unless we’re losing a ton, I don’t think a record is anything we ever worry about.”

North Farmington started the year 5-0, but entering a weekend tournament at Harrison had dropped six of its last nine games.

“Three of those losses weren’t games we needed to win,” Brubaker said of some non-league contests where he experiments a bit with his lineup.

The Raiders were 1-2 in the Oakland Activities Association Red Division.

“We brought a lot of new girls into the mix this year, so we’re still working some things out,” senior Megan Keller said from a May 8 practice. “Our focus is on the next game — that’s really it.”

Playing in the Red is never easy, and Brubaker isn’t afraid to schedule more difficult teams from outside the conference, as well.

“That makes things more fun,” senior pitcher Alexa Cherney said. “You’re being challenged. You have to play at your best. That’s how it should be.”

The Raiders went 25-10 last year, and nine losses came to teams ranked in the top 10 in their respective divisions.

“The main difference right now is depth,” Brubaker said. “We have some very talented girls, but we don’t have the depth at all the spots we’ve had in the past. Kids are fighting for positions, and we’re trying to figure out what works best.”

Brubaker went on to say that, if healthy, he has a roster capable of holding its own with just about anyone, now or in the district tournament.

“We can contend in every game we play in,” he said. “The thing is, I never like to base all goals on a record or a district, for example. The postseason really gives you one winner and 300-some losers. My thing is the academics, and that these girls put forth an effort to go out and play softball to the best of their ability. If they do that, I’ll be happy.”

“One day at a time,” Cherney said. “That’s the mentality we have to have.”

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