Wednesday afternoon was just another practice for the LCM Lady Bears. Taking ground balls, catching fly balls, and working on game situations, things they’ve been doing since the first practice January 20. If you’re still practicing after four months, you know that you’ve gone pretty deep into the playoffs.
The Bears are in the fourth round and they will meet the number one ranked Liberty Hill Panthers in the Region III Semifinal. It’s a best of three series at Madisonville High School with Game One Thursday at 7pm and Games 2 & 3 beginning at 5pm Friday.
Last week the Bears needed to win games two and three to advance over Huntington. After losing game one 9-4 they responded with shutouts of 7-0 and 5-0. “That loss woke them up and maybe it was the best thing that could happen to us” said Coach Dena Adkins. “Every team we play from here on is going to be good and we have to play our best to win.”
When you reach this level the distance between schools sometimes limits what you know or what you can learn about your opponent. So is the case with the Lady Panthers. “I don’t know a lot about them and yes it’s difficult to prepare, but they don’t know a lot about us. But you know, if we play our best, do what we do, put your trust in the coaches, we don’t have to know everything about them to win. I know they have two pitchers that throw hard. But we faced a pitcher that threw in the 60’s consistently last week so I like our chances.”
The Bears will be without starter Jayce Perry, who suffered a broken arm last week after being hit by a pitch. Adkins said, “Jayce is a big loss for us because she has a great on base percentage in the playoffs and she gave us some speed. But as usual with this team someone else will step up as they did Saturday.”
The winner of the series will play the winner between Bridge City and Lorena.