Diamonds in the rough

The Lady Lions of 2012 and 2013 are polar opposites of each other with virtually the same roster. In 2012, they only won 15 games. In 2013, they have managed to win 10 of their first 15.
With a pitching staff that posted a conference-worst 4.50 ERA in 2012, the Lady Lions currently have a 2.52 ERA in 2013, almost two runs per game less. This is a team that was a bottom of the barrel contender, and now they have made their voice heard.
Freshman Taylor Bishop, who was highly touted by head coach Pete Langlois prior to the season, has been a breath of fresh air for the revamped pitching staff.
Head coach Pete Langlois’ squad faces a 6-10 Sam Houston State team to open conference play, before facing the newly introduced Houston Baptist Lady Huskies, who have established themselves as one of the top teams in the conference, despite having a record of just 4-3 on the season.
Langlois has found offensive productivity in unsuspecting places so far, with freshman first baseman and designated player Amber Sather managing a .353 batting average and three homeruns, and freshman outfielder Katie Lacour contributing off of the bench for the Lady Lions with a .292 average. Junior Tori Sheppard, despite hitting at a .158 clip, has two homeruns this year while senior outfielder Kelsey Nichols has yet to strike out this season.
Sather set a Kennadale High School (Texas) record her junior year with 13 homeruns and added six more her senior year to give herself a total of 19 as a high school upperclassman. Lacour, out of Port St. Joe, Fla., holds the record for most hits and runs for St. Joe High School
The Lady Lions will have to face Sam Houston slugger Hillary Adams, who tied for third last year in Southland Conference play with former Lady Lion Meghan Gomez with nine homeruns. Adams already has five in the early part of the season.
However, the great divide between the two teams comes not from offensive power, but base running ability. The Lady Lions have yet to even attempt to steal a base, while the Lady Bearkats have been successful on 16 of their 20 attempted steals. On the other side, the Lady Bearkats have 25 errors, while the Lady Lions have recorded just 10 this season.
While Houston Baptist does not have excessive amounts of speed or power in their lineup, the Lady Huskies have five starters hitting about .270. While their offense has been consistent, their pitching staff has been equally as dominant: the Lady Huskies boast an ERA of 2.08, ranking them third in conference.
While Langlois has his team on the right track, only time will tell whether or not his team can withstand the pressures of conference play.