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Hartselle Enquirer

Cain represents HHS at All Star game

Hope Cain stands by her locker in the field house. She will be a senior this year at HHS. | Caleb Suggs
Hope Cain stands by her locker in the field house. She will be a senior this year at HHS. | Caleb Suggs

Caleb Suggs

Hartselle Enquirer

Playing in the North South All Star game is an honor that few high school athletes in Alabama get to experience.

For upcoming Hartselle senior Hope Cain, it was an honor that Head Softball coach Christy Ferguson said was well deserved.

Cain was excited for this experience.

“It was a really great honor, and I just wanted to do the best that I could to represent Hartselle in a presentable way,” Cain said.

After two practices in which the teams worked on little things such as bunting and focused a lot on batting, the teams took the field Tues., July 21. The North lost the first game 4-3 but was winning the second game 1-0 before weather forced them to cancel in the sixth inning. Cain worked all over the lineup, playing pitcher, first base and right field, even though she had never played in the outfield before.

Cain recorded two hard hits and struck a few players out en route to a phenomenal pitching game.

“She just knows how to flip the switch,” Ferguson said. “When she steps across the chalk line, she is just a different person.”

The All Star game is a big honor, but now that it has come and gone, it’s time to get serious as Cain prepares for the upcoming season and the pressure of being a senior leader.

“I just have to take it in stride and try to be the best leader I can be,” Cain said. “I don’t really feel any pressure to be a leader; there are six other seniors on this squad, so I just have to do what I have to and rely on my teammates.”

Ferguson had more to say about Cain’s position on the team.

“Hope’s role on our team is huge,” Ferguson said. “She is not just a leader but a pitcher and our leadoff hitter.”

The pressure just continues to mount for the Tigers. They have now finished one season since their state championship in 2014, but Ferguson and Cain were not at a loss of words when describing the added pressure it put on them as a team.

“Was there pressure? Yes,” Ferguson said. “Everybody is gunning for you but at the same time, it’s pressure we expect. The expectation every year for our team is a state championship. That is just how it is in Hartselle.”

Cain had similar thoughts on the target on Hartselle’s back.

“It definitely made it harder but at the same time, it made you want to do it more,” Cain said.

The Tigers will enter the upcoming season with seven seniors, who have been described as completely unselfish and willing to do what is necessary to help their teammates and represent their city. The expectations are definitely there.

Coach Ferguson gave the Tigers about 24 hours to celebrate their title before focus began on the next one.

The Tigers came up short last year without an appearance at the state tournament, but with All Star senior Hope Cain leading the pack, Ferguson is confident they can get back on track this year.

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