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Small roster, large expectations

May 13, 2014

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Ferndale High softball celebrates another run against Hazel Park High April 23 at home. At press time, the Eagles were 1-0 in the OAA Blue.

FERNDALE — With only 10 players on the roster, it’s a lonely place in the Ferndale High softball dugout when the squad is in the field, which is just fine with coach Akilah Evans.

“Ten is a small number, but 10 works for us,” Evans said with a laugh.

At press time, Ferndale was 4-3 overall and 1-0 in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division.

The coach said she has a JV program and has a handful of players that she may bring up to the varsity at a certain point, but the current group of players have used their mostly error-free defense and aggressive base-running skills to their advantage.

Evans believes the combination is enough to defend the team’s Blue championship, after sharing it with Southfield-Lathrup last season.

“I’m very confident about it. I know these girls can take care of business,” she said.

Ferndale hasn’t had much of a chance to defend, with numerous division games postponed, including one midway through being finished against Hazel Park High with Ferndale leading.

The coach also has her eyes on a Division 2 district title. The Eagles lost in the championship game last season to Madison Heights Lamphere, which is once again in the bracket this postseason along with Clawson High, Hazel Park High and Warren Fitzgerald.

“The girls know what to expect. … I think we are all on the same page, and we didn’t like the way it felt last year,” Evans said.

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