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Florala on the prowl

In order for the Florala Lady Wildcats to be successful at the Class 1A, Area 3 tournament in Kinston, head coach Roger Hammonds said playing “fundamental softball” is a must at the two-day competition, which kicks off today.

“What’s going to be detrimental for us is to make sure that we play fundamental softball,” Hammonds said. “Catching, throwing, base-running and hitting — at its simplest. I think if we can maintain all of those elements, then I think we can be competitive for this area tournament.”

The Lady Wildcats (8-25) will start today at 3:30 p.m. against eighth-ranked Pleasant Home (17-13), who they beat last Monday night, 1-0.

“We’re going over there matched up with a No. 2 seed from the area — Pleasant Home,” Hammonds said. “They are a real respectful team. Our girls are going to have to go over there (today) and be fully prepared.

“We creaked over Pleasant Home with a 1-0 win last week, but I feel that’s probably not going to be the same game we’ll be looking at this week,” he said.

Florala softball players Paige Irwin and Hillary Thames will be competing in the Class 1A state track and field tournament at the same time the area tournament is taking place.

Hammonds said that that is a problem and that there is “nothing we can do about it at this point.”

“It hurts — I’m not going to sit here and lie,” Hammonds said. “As far as sitting our playing positions throughout the year and now we’re having to make adjustments to play this game. We’re going to take it as it comes.”

Hammonds said that accomplishing the goal of advancing to the regional tournament is attainable given the current circumstances.

“From our very first meeting with the girls, our goal was to make it to regionals this year,” he said. “I think at this point, it’s a reasonable goal. Some of the other teams have acquired some injuries and have lost some players for some reason.

“I think the challenge is appropriate,” he said. “Our girls have come a long way since the first day of practice. My goal was to be competitive and make it to the regional tournament. That’s our hopes — that’s our dreams to make it.”