Jay M. Robinson
After being a competitive team in the now defunct ME-CA 7, Robinson has already established itself among the top team in the SPC in half a season. The Bulldogs want a SPC title badly.
"Our No. 1 goal is to win a conference title," said Allen. "Then, from there, we will move on and set new goals and see what happens."
To accomplish their first goal, the Bulldogs must take care of business against the SPC from top to bottom in the second half of the conference slate.
It all begins with pitching, where Robinson has one of the top pitchers in the league in sophomore Dallas King. King, who already has college interest from College of Charleston and Winthrop, has been dominant for most of the year at 10-2 with an earned-run average of just under one run per game.
But King has a lot of help on the offensive side, where the "400 club" - named for the four Bulldogs who are hitting above, around or just below .400 for the season - is rock solid.
Seniors Katie Zavodny (.372), who has committed to Liberty, and Camryn Wagner (.394), who has committed to UNC Wilmington, are the team's leaders. While Junior Ashley Burke (.470) and classmate Hayley Lewis (.429) are still seeing better pitches on a regular basis.
"The 400 club is something special that we have," said Allen. "I think it really says a lot about the girls who perform that well on a consistent level."
Robinson will have to stay consistent to hold their own and challenge for an South Piedmont Conference title. A season sweep of the once mighty Vikings would go a long way in that direction.
After dominating every team in their path for the last 15-plus years, the Vikings have come back to earth in the last two seasons.
But Central Cabarrus still has some major talent beginning with N.C. State signee, catcher Chelsea Hartsell. Hartsell is a major factor behind and at the plate and can affect games both offensively and defensively.
Hartsell also has help with Francis Marion University signee and shortstop Lindsey Brown and standout pitcher Mellena Helms. Brown, a senior, and Helms, a sophomore, will need to step up their games and help Hartsell for their team to have a chance at a SPC crown.
The Vikings have won at an astounding rate for many years, so making a run through the second half of the SPC season would not be shocking. The current group of Viking players must begin their own tradition of winning and a victory against Robinson would be a great start.