Lady Tigers ‘focused’ prior to regionals

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 11, 2011

For the past month, Straughn head softball coach Ray Wilson said he’s noticed a change in the way the Lady Tigers have played on the field.

“Here lately, in the past month, I’ve felt pretty good going into each game, and I hope that continues with our senior leadership that we have,” Wilson said Tuesday at practice.

The eighth-ranked Lady Tigers enter the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Class 4A South Regional tournament in Gulf Shores as the defending 3A regional champions.

Wilson said this year will be a little different because of the change of teams the team will face.

“I expect it to be tougher,” he said. “You’ve got several teams with real good tradition that will be down there this weekend.”

Straughn will play Area 2 runner up Jackson Friday at 3:30 p.m. at the Gulf Shores Sports Complex. The Lady Tigers will play a second game that night at 6:30 in the double elimination tournament.

In addition to Jackson, SHS has St. James and UMS-Wright on its side of the bracket. The other four teams include Thomasville, Headland, third-ranked Alabama Christian and Saraland.

“All of them have played good softball at one point in time,” Wilson said. “We’ll have to play well, and be prepared.”

Being consistent on the mound and on defense are the two main keys leading to this weekend, Wilson said.

“I think it’s still pitchers doing a good job, and us playing sound defensively in each and every game,” he said. “We’ve been able to hit the ball lately, and I hope that continues. There’s no guarantees in any game.

“You want to be real consistent defensively, and pitch consistently,” he said. “Those are the two things you want to have happen every time you step on the field. You want to do those two well to give yourselves a chance to win.”