Southfield High softball looking forward to final season

By: Christian Davis | Southfield Sun | Published March 30, 2016

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Compared to this point last season, Southfield High softball is ahead of schedule.

It’s the second year under coach Tai Sharpley, and though the squad lost nearly a starting lineup worth of talent to graduation, the coach sees the potential in her current crop of Blue Jays.

“I think the girls are used to my style of coaching now. They’re taking softball more seriously than ever before,” Sharpley said. “I think the program has come a long way. A lot of the girls have never played before, but just the growth they’ve had over the winter, they’ve come a long way.”

Last season, Southfield finished 5-5 in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division, good for fourth place.

The Blue Jays have five total players back from that team, including All-Association sophomore pitcher Arianna McMiller.

“She’s a very aggressive pitcher,” Sharpley said. “She’s working on developing her pitches more, but she’s definitely aggressive and a competitor. She goes right at the batters and is up for a new challenge.” 

The coach also hopes senior Kabria Arnold bolsters the ranks. She’s a transfer from Detroit Cass Tech and is expected to make big contributions at the plate and in the circle, helping provide the punch needed for a division title.

In the Blue, Southfield is battling with Bloomfield Hills High, Ferndale High, Hazel Park High, Lathrup Village Southfield-Lathrup and Oxford High.

“I could see us winning the whole thing or be right there at the top,” Sharpley said.

The coach added that her style is focused on defense, but she has a mixture of styles on offense.

“If the corners are back, we’ll play small ball, but overall, everyone likes the long ball,” she said.

This is the final sports season before Southfield and Southfield-Lathrup merge next fall. Sharpley said neither she nor her players are dwelling on what that may bring. Instead, they are keeping their focus on the present.

“It’s kind of business as usual. We don’t know what next year brings, so really, we’re just making the best of it,” she said.

Catch the Blue Jays in their season opener against Redford Union at 4:30 p.m. April 11 at home.

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