Polk Middle pounds Hendersonville Middle, 23-3

Shannon Harris has been preaching an aggressive approach at the plate to her Polk County Middle School softball squad.

Monday showed just how well the Wolverines have been listening.

Polk Middle jumped on Hendersonville Middle for 14 first-inning runs, going on to take a 23-3 win in three innings over the Bearcats at Polk County Recreation Complex.

Polk Middle (3-7) took advantage of Hendersonville Middle’s struggles to find the plate, drawing a number of walks. But the Wolverines also put the ball in play on a regular basis, a trait that has emerged as a strength of the team.

“We hit consistently,” Harris said. “This team is backward from any team I’ve ever coached. Most teams start out slow, then pick up. These girls always come out stronger. These guys are fighters.

“We finally got the one bad inning out of our system. In every game, we’ve had that one bad inning. We want to be at the point where we’re not giving away things to the other teams.”

Polk Middle is in a tight race with Flat Rock and Apple Valley for third and fourth place in the Blue Ridge Middle School Conference’s East Division. The top four teams in each division advance to the league’s postseason tournament, and while getting a first-round home game is likely out of reach for the Wolverines, Harris wants to make certain her team qualifies for postseason play.

Polk Middle has two games remaining, Thursday at Flat Rock and then Monday at Apple Valley, so the team’s playoff fate is largely in its hands.

“We just need to come out and play like we’re capable of,” Harris said. “If they play their game, none of the other teams will be able to touch it.”