By Brandon Speck
As long as there is success in slow pitch softball, there will be accusations of cheating.
Baseball has steroids. Softball has loaded bats.
Hamilton made sure everyone knows its bats aren’t juiced.
“We’re not trying to hide anything,” Hamilton head coach Bryan Loague said.
Hamilton (13-4) has been a hot topic of rumors in softball-strong Monroe County. Loague said from his understanding, the Monroe superintendent’s office got a call from the Mississippi High School Activities Association, saying that another school – or schools – had complained about a bat or bats the Lady Lions were using.
Loague said the school volunteered that if all Monroe schools would do sol, they would have their bats checked. The check took place Friday in Columbus, under MHSAA watch. Loague said all three schools – Hamilton, Hatley and Smithville – were in attendance.
Loague said he was the first in and left after his bats were cleared, including the bat in question. Hatley and Smithville’s bats passed as well.
“We wanted to get it out of the way, try to clear the air a little bit,” Loague said. “We try to do things the right way.”
Home run numbers are up for the defending Class 2A champions, who are now in 1A. But Hamilton, which recently won the Monroe County Tournament, credits a new workout and weight regiment that includes heavy lifting, as well as P90X. Loague says he sees an obvious difference in how his girls have maxed out.
“We lift a lot, started actually last year at the end of slow pitch,” Loague said. “Started doing P90X all winter, through the spring and summer. We still try to lift at least two days every week. The girls have definitely gotten a lot stronger.”
The MHSAA will hold its official playoff bat check on Oct. 14, where sticks will be stickered for playoff use.
Hamilton, Hatley and Smithville will not have to go through the process again, unless they have an unchecked bat they want to use.