PHS girls want to win the top prizePublished 12:02am Thursday, May 16, 2013
All six Pleasant Home seniors are on the same page.
They want to win a state championship.
Abigail Kelley, Ashley Copeland, Raven Woods, Jordan McGhee, Caitlin Jernigan and Emily Byrd will be giving it one more try this week in the Class 1A State Softball Tournament at Lagoon Park in Montgomery.
The seniors, who have been playing together since about 7-to-8-years-old, and Lady Eagles were so close to winning a blue map last season. PHS shot through the winner’s bracket and eventually faced Ragland in the championship, where it lost in two games to the defending state champion.
While wanting a state championship is one thing, the seniors said that this is “the year.”
When you add up each senior’s total state tournament appearances, the Class of 2013 has made 25 total.
“It’s our year to win,” Byrd, Pleasant Home’s pitcher, said. “I feel like we’re prepared and everybody’s focused and ready to play.”
For McGhee, the first baseman, the feeling of nervousness hasn’t been an issue.
“Usually every year I feel nervous, but this year, I’m just ready to play,” she said. “I’m not nervous at all. I know we can do this.
“I’ll go play right now!” she said.
The seniors will have to wait until 10:30 a.m. tomorrow, where they’ll face Decatur Heritage in the first round of the double elimination tournament. The tournament reverts to a regular double elimination format. There will be a championship game for each classification at the state tournament.
Kelley, who is Pleasant Home’s left-fielder, said she feels good about another opportunity.
“Honestly, I think hitting-wise, right now is the best we’ve hit all year long,” Kelley said. “We’re watching the ball better. We’re smart on the base pads and getting better jumps and working the counts.”
Jernigan, who plays at shortstop, said the team needs to stay together no matter what happens this weekend.
“If you mess up, don’t get down on yourself,” Jernigan said.
Copeland, the PHS catcher, said she’s confident that her team will pull out the big victory.
“We’ll take care of business,” Copeland said.
Before the regular season began and while Pleasant Home was having preseason practices, Lady Eagles’ coach Bradley Stephens made the girls watch a film about being either a fan or follower of Jesus.
That’s pretty much what the team has focused on, Kelley said.
“If God is for us, then who can be against us?” she said. “I think that we have the best talent to win it. God has blessed us with His talent.”
Woods said the team is planning on going “out” in style.
“I think we should win it this year,” she said. “This is our last chance, so we might as well. We need to go out on a bang.”
Throughout the year, each senior has carried with them a verse from the Bible.
Kelley’s is Luke 9:23; Byrd’s is Proverbs 3:5-7; McGhee’s is Ephesians 6:11; Copeland’s is Isaiah 40:31; Woods’ is 1 Thessolonians 5:17; and Jernigan’s is Romans 8:38-39.