FISHERS — Last year, the Floyds Knobs Community Club was just happy to be back at the Central Region Tournament.
This year, FKCC hopes to leave even happier.
“We’ve got a different mindset this year,” Floyds Knobs manager J.R. Drummond said Monday from Fishers, site of the tourney. “Last year we were excited to be here. This year, our goal is to walk out of here Central Region champions.”
FKCC begins that quest at 5 p.m. Tuesday when it faces Oak Creek (Wis.) Little League in its first game of pool play of the nine-team tournament at Fishers High School. It will take on Pike County (Ill.) at 2 p.m. Wednesday. Tourney play begins Thursday with four quarterfinals. It concludes Friday with the semifinals and final. The winner advances to the Little League World Series in Portland, Ore.
“I’m pretty confident that if we play our game and do our thing, we’ll be in a pretty good spot Thursday,” Drummond said. “Our goal is to not give up a run in pool play to give us the best possible seeding in tournament play.”
FKCC won the Central Region in 2017 before losing in the tournament quarterfinals last year with a team predominantly of 11-year-olds. Seven players from last year’s squad are back this year.
As usual, FKCC will hang its helmet on its pitching.
Elliot Nance leads the staff. She threw a no-hitter in the team’s 9-0 victory over Don Ayres in the state final.
“She’s the real deal; she has been for several years,” said Drummond, who will also rely on Felicity Cunningham and Emmy Miller in the circle.
In addition to its pitching, FKCC also hopes to utilize its speed on the basepaths.
“As long as we get runners on base — create some havoc — we feel like we’ll be in good shape,” Drummond said.
Iowa and Missouri are a couple of the other strong teams in the field, according to Drummond.
“You’re going to have three or four teams that could walk out of here as the champion,” he said. “There are some repeat teams here from last year, but definitely I think we feel we’ve got a legit shot to come out.”