This year they are hoping for a lengthy stay although they are starting their run in a tough environment, the home of the state’s No. 6 ranked softball team. The Lady Wildcats kick off play today in Loganville, with their first game at 4 p.m. and the second scheduled for a 6 p.m. start. A third game is Thursday, if necessary in the best-of-three series.
Colman Roberts, veteran skipper, said the Lady Wildcats know they will be facing a tough opponent.
“I know they won their region,” Roberts said. “That says a lot for them. We’re expecting them to be very tough.”
The Lady Red Devils have a 20-9 overall record on the season, finishing 7-1 in Region 8-AAAAA. They averaged scoring six runs per game while giving up just two runs per outing.
Woodland has an equally impressive 20-10 overall record with a 7-3 mark in tough Region 5-AAAAA. The Lady ‘Cats are averaging five runs per contest while surrendering three runs. They are led at the mound by Brooke Rogers, a sophomore hurler who has literally grown into the position.
Roberts said Woodland is excited about returning to the state playoffs after a one-year absence.
The Lady Wildcats, a regular fixture in the playoffs for more than a decade, used that brief absence as motivation to end their season in the playoffs. That effort has shown in the play of the team all season.
The absence was brief enough that the Lady Wildcats are entering the playoffs with enough experience that they know what to expect.
Roberts has the team pointed toward playing its best in every matchup.
“We’d like to go further than the first round,” he stressed. “We haven’t been to Columbus since 2006. We haven’t been able to get out of the first round since they’ve gone to two-out-of-three games.”
Still, he says any talk of Columbus is premature at best.
The Lady Wildcats have tried to use the postseason to keep their skills sharp and prepare for their next opponent.
“We’re going to take batting practice [Tuesday] but there’s not a lot we can do at this point,” Roberts said Tuesday. “It’s a matter of going out there and having a little luck. Hopefully we’ll get our swings in.”
He said the Lady Wildcats expect a challenge from Loganville, but they know the key to advancing in the playoffs usually isn’t just their opponent.
“We are really not concerned about Loganville,” he said. “We’re concerned about ourselves. We need 15 kids to play their best.”
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