High School Sports

She hardly hit for power in her younger days. Now she’s Lugoff-Elgin’s ‘Bruiser’

Watch: Lugoff-Elgin’s Bailey Douglas discusses secrets behind record-breaking season

Lugoff-Elgin senior Bailey Douglas leads the Midlands in home runs and RBI so far this season.
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Lugoff-Elgin senior Bailey Douglas leads the Midlands in home runs and RBI so far this season.

Bailey Douglas didn’t consider herself a power hitter during her first two years on the Lugoff-Elgin softball career.

That’s changed in her final two seasons, as Douglas has been one of the top power hitters in the Midlands and across this state. Last season, the Coker College signee hit eight home runs and followed it up with a school-record 15 this year’s regular season.

Douglas’ 15 homers broke Kelly Graham’s mark of 10. She also has 40 RBI, eclipsing her total of 38 last season.

“As a freshman and sophomore, I wouldn’t classify myself as a power hitter. I was more of a person that found a gap and got on base. From junior year till now, I found some power along the way,” Douglas said last week. “The pitches have been like beach balls coming in now and everyone has been hitting the ball as hard as you can hit and that is all you can ask for.”

Tyler Cupp, who broadcasts L-E games on Kool 102.7 FM, nicknamed Douglas the “Bruiser” for her power. Douglas’ homers aren’t just barely getting over the fence as some have been towering shots.

Douglas has hit some of them in big moments for the Demons, who wrapped up the Region 4-5A title. She hit a game-winning grand slam in the top of the seventh in the 15-14 win against Blythewood on April 3.

“I didn’t know how much power she would have. But we foresaw this for years,” L-E assistant coach Casey Stevens said. “She has come up clutch in big games since she was a freshman. Now, she has come into herself as a ball player and seeing the ball really well.

“Most of them (homers) you know off the bat they are gone. Against Camden, if it hadn’t hit a tree you I don’t know when it would have come down. Teams have started playing at the fence and trying to rob one but most of them they are gone on the bat.”

Stevens credits Douglas’ power surge to her ability to be more patient at the plate, something she lacked during her early years of high school. Douglas said she hasn’t drastically changed her swing the past two years but put more attention to muscle memory and fundamentals.

“Power comes from her discipline and making sure she is hitting the correct pitches for her,” Stevens said. “She always had good power from her swing but she wasn’t as disciplined. She has been patient and that why she has had success.”

Douglas is an all-around athlete in her high school career and has played volleyball, gymnastics and did competitive cheer this season. She also took dance lessons growing up before her father Billy Douglas put a glove and bat in his daughter’s hands.

“I used to dance and wear bows in my hair. But my dad took the bows out of my hair and never let me touch a dance leotard or pair of tap shoes ever again,” Bailey joked. “I’m glad he did.”

Douglas has been a key part of the Demons’ success the past few seasons. L-E reached the Class 4A Upper State finals in 2016 and Lower State finals in 2017. This is Lugoff-Elgin’s first season in 5A and it will be in the Upper State playoffs when the playoffs begin April 25.

The Demons could face likes of Byrnes down the road if they make it out of the district round.

“I think we can get to the state championship, just got to giving our all we got and maybe come up with a state title this year,” Douglas said. “This group is a talented team so we will see what happens.”