ECHS: A team on the rise

Published 4:50 pm Saturday, March 17, 2012

Wednesday was a test for the Escambia County Lady Blue Devils.

The Lady Blue Devils went into their area match up against the UMS-Wright Lady Bulldogs ranked No. 9 in the state and full of confidence.

What followed was a 15-0 loss to a team viewed was one of the area favorites. It was also the Lady Blue Devils first loss of the season.

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In Wednesday’s edition of The Advance, a story was featured on the Lady Blue Devils and their impressive start to the 2012 season.

In that story, head softball coach Daryl Otwell noted he knew his team would eventually lose, but was concerned more on how they would react to the loss.

The concern was genuine and for good reason. Sometimes, a loss can send a team into a downward spiral, while other times, teams will rise up from a loss.

The question of when the loss would happen was answered on Wednesday, and the answer to the question of how the Lady Blue Devils would react was revealed at Monroe County High School Thursday.

Escambia County went into their game against Monroe County looking to get back on a winning path and made it happen in impressive fashion with a 13-4 victory.

The Lady Blue Devils showed they have some resiliency by coming away with the win. At times, it was not their best game with some errors allowing Monroe County to score runs, but the final score told Otwell all he needed to know.

The score showed him that whenthey are knocked down from a high-pressure situation that they will claw back to where they want to be.

This is a team that is still learning how to win consistently, but the progress already made in 2012 is monumental.

Otwell said he has fielded several calls asking how he was able to turn his team around. His answer is that he is still working to turn them around.

He knows what type of talent he has on his team, and he plans to nurture that talent and get the most out of it. With so much young talent on this team, it could very well become a competitive program in the next two or three seasons.

One thing is for sure. Under the guidance of Otwell, Escambia County’s softball program is on the rise.
With that said, Otwell is hoping other programs take notice because he is looking to play the best of the best.

Who knows, in a few years, this team could be one of the best.

Chandler Myers is sports editor of the Atmore Advance. He can be reached at 368-2123 or by e-mail at