Aderholt didn’t waste any time setting goals for her new squad.
“When I first got there, we had a meeting and talked that night about our goals. I told them that my goal was to make the state tournament,” Aderholt said. “They looked at me like I was crazy.”
Five years and a state softball championship later, Aderholt’s goals are no longer simply making the playoffs, but vying for state titles.
“It didn’t take them long to realize how good they could be,” Aderholt added.
The Lady Eagles missed out on the playoffs in Aderholt’s first season, but Sumiton Christian has finished no worse than third in the state tournament since, taking third in 3A in 2009, winning the Class 3A championship in 2010 and placing third in 2A last season.
Over that time span, Sumiton Christian, has become one of the elite softball teams in the state. They were ranked No. 1 the bulk of last season and have held down the No. 2 spot this year.
Aderholt reached a milestone on Saturday, notching her 200th career victory in a win over Shades Valley at the Springville Tournament.
During her four-plus years at Sumiton Christian, the Lady Eagles are 201-70-1 (a 74.2 winning percentage). The team has been particularly dominant since 2010, racking up a 130-33 record.
“I’m very proud of getting 200 wins. I’m thankful for the support I get at Sumiton Christian. I’m proud of how the girls have come along and have gotten better,” Aderholt said.
Sumiton Christian is currently ranked No. 2 in Class 2A behind two-time defending state champ Hatton, which knocked off the Lady Eagles twice in last year’s state tournament in Montgomery.
“Last year we were focused too much on state. We talked about it a lot and I think we made ourselves nervous about it. We didn’t play well down there,” she said.
This year’s team is hoping to make another lengthy playoff run behind its four seniors: Clara Bowen, Cadi Oliver, T’Ebonie Tanner and Kathryn Warren.
Sumiton Christian dropped a 2-1 decision to Vestavia Hills, the No. 3 team in 6A, on the road Monday. Katie Justice allowed just three hits, but took the loss. For Sumiton Christian (32-11), Katlyn Sides hit a home run to account for the Lady Eagles’ only tally.
The Lady Eagles finished 3-1 at Springville’s round-robin tournament over the weekend.
Sumiton Christian defeated Curry, Shades Valley and Springville with the loss coming against 6A Thompson.
The Lady Eagles opened with a 2-0 victory over Curry. Katie Justice got the win, allowing one hit and one walk in seven innings. At the plate, Katlyn Sides was 2 for 3 with a double and a run while Kendell Hamm had a double and both RBIs. Clara Bowen scored the other run.
Thompson knocked off the Lady Eagles 2-0.
Cadi Oliver took the loss, allowing six hits and striking out four. She was also 2 for 3 at the plate with a double.
Sumiton Christian bounced back with a 15-3, five-inning rout of Shades Valley. The Lady Eagles had 17 hits, including six doubles, in the game. Oliver was 4 for 5 with a double, a triple and three runs, Kathryn Warren was 3 for 3 with two doubles, a run and three RBIs, Katlyn Sides was 2 for 3 with four runs and three RBIs, Hamm was 2 for 2 with two doubles and four RBIs and both Bowen and Jessie Boone were 2 for 4 with an RBI.
Kendall Beth Sides got the win, giving up five hits and striking out four.
Sumiton Christian closed out the tournament with a 5-2 win over Springville. Justice got the win, giving up four hits and striking out four. Justice was 2 for 3 at the plate. Oliver finished 3 for 3 with a home run.