After winning its fourth consecutive Model Lady Devils Classic Aug. 14, its fifth in six years, Woodland (8-0, 2-0 Region 7A-AAAA) has followed up with two region wins over state qualifiers Sequoyah and Northwest Whitfield to sit atop its sub-region standings.
"Not saying that the Model tournament wasn't important, but the last two games we played we're very important," Lady Wildcats' coach Colman Roberts said of his team's 5-1 home win over the Lady Chiefs Tuesday and its equally impressive 7-3 road win over the defending region champion Lady Bruins in Tunnel Hill on Thursday.
"(Our kids) played together," Roberts continued. "The kids that weren't in the game we're a big factor in the dugout."
The longtime Woodland coach said his team has played stellar defense -- with the exception of one inning against Sequoyah -- and has gotten a similar superb effort from senior pitcher Emily Clay. The Lady Wildcats also average eight runs per game.
"(We are) just doing the tiny, little things," Roberts said, "got a bunt down against Northwest Whitfield and that was the key."
"That was definitely big," he added, regarding the Northwest win. "And going back to last year, we were up there playing in Tunnel Hill and we had a questionable play that turned into a triple play against us ... and it kind of hurt us mentally.
"For us to go up there and face one of the better pitchers in our region -- and there's a lot of them -- that was big."
Roberts credited his senior class -- Brittany Mahrt, Olivia Rutledge, Ainsley Faulk, Cary Cole, Diana Wimpy, Erin Hitchcock, Ashley Waddell and Clay -- for helping Woodland to its fast start.
"The seniors have definitely started to lead us. It started off slow, but I think they are well on their way to lead us," he said. "All those things coupled together are a big part of (our success), but it's very early in the year."
Roberts is right.
The Lady Wildcats have six more region games to play, including four against Rome and Cass and a game at Sequoyah.
"We're just going to take it one game at a time," Roberts said. "We've got two tough ones coming up this week."
Woodland hosts Rome Tuesday and also welcomes county rival Cass to its field Thursday.
The Lady Wolves are the lone team in this year's sub-region not to qualify for the Georgia High School Association Class AAAA state tournament last season, but the Lady Wildcats know they still present a tough out.
"We've actually scouted them," Roberts said of the Lady Wolves (4-6, 0-1). "They got some good young players."
"They played well early against Cass, and Cass is a good team," he continued, referencing Rome's 15-7 loss to the Lady Colonels. "We barely beat (Rome) 2-1 last year in the Model tournament."
While it may be early, Woodland still has its sights on the state tournament, where they hope to open in familiar confines.
"Our goal is to hopefully host a first-round game for the state (tournament)," Roberts acknowledged.
In order to do that, the Lady Wildcats will have to maintain an incredibly fast start.
"We've had 'em before," said Roberts, whose 2004 team went 32-11, 11-2 in Region 7-AAAA. "I definitely try to talk about that (fast start). Our best year was 2004 ... and that team kept it going, and we were consistent. That's what we're preaching to the kids."