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Doughty takes over Trinity softball team

NATCHEZ — A softball veteran with a state championship to her name, Miranda Doughty is no stranger to winning programs.

Now, she’s looking to make her mark as head softball coach at Trinity Episcopal Day School.

Doughty took over the position in April, replacing Chris Hutchins, who stepped down because of an increase in hours at work. Hutchins said he expects good things out of the program going forward and is happy to hand the reins to Doughty.

“She will be great for our program and will relate very well with our girls,” Hutchins said. “We are lucky to have her.”

A member of the 2003 Vidalia High School state softball championship, Doughty said she hopes her experience with the sport will translate to success in running a high school program.

“I was a pitcher, and I’ve been in a game where I’ve hit every single batter, and I’ve won several championships, so I know all of the emotions,” Doughty said. “When it’s 3-0 with bases loaded in a tight spot, I’ve been there, and I feel like I can relate to them.”

Doughty takes over a team with four seniors and four juniors, with the rest being underclassmen. Kailey Hutchins and Marty Lewis are the only two confirmed pitchers right now, and the team is expecting two more players to transfer to Trinity. Those two girls will be going into eighth and ninth grade, respectively.

“We’re young,” Doughty said. “For the most part, the girls are all athletes anyway. With a few years of having them, by the time they’re all seniors, they’ll be really tough.”

Doughty is not a stranger to coaching, as she’s headed up some summer league teams in the past. Jenny Watson, who grew up playing softball with Doughty, will join her, though Watson’s time will be limited because of work.

“She’s going to help out as much as she can this year,” Doughty said. “I told Les (Hegwood) it was good to get one of us, but really good to get both.”

As far as what it takes to win, Doughty said having the right mindset is the most important thing.

“Staying together is important,” Doughty said. “The year we won state (at Vidalia), we had been playing together since tee ball. We had each other’s backs, and that’s something I want to stress to them.”

Doughty also said she would make sure her girls took the sport seriously and not just as something to do to pass the time.

“I coach like I’ve been coached,” Doughty said. “I feel like if you lose, you should be a little upset about it.”

A disciple of local softball pitching coach Rut Horne, Doughty said she picked up a lot from Horne in her days under his tutelage.

“If the leadoff hitter gets on, we’re going to bunt and use every facet of the game,” Doughty said. “He taught me to be aggressive. You won’t win games sitting around doing nothing.”

Doughty also said she won’t just shrug off mistakes made by her players.

“When I was playing, if we made a mistake, it wasn’t OK,” Doughty said. “We should strive to play our best, and that’s what I plan for us to do.”

Trinity will open its season July 27 at the Centreville Academy tournament. Plans are currently in place for the Lady Saints to play their home games at the new Concordia Parish Recreation District 3 complex in Vidalia.