History to unfold in weekend games

Published 12:01 am Friday, May 13, 2011

With sweat beading off of my face and the winding road running beneath me, I drove down from Oak Grove High School last Saturday anxious to get back to the excitement of post season play.

This week as I prepared for this weekend’s baseball playoffs and softball regional tournament in Mobile and Gulf Shores, respectively, I was constantly reminded of how much history will be made this week.

Straughn will play UMS-Wright (20-16) tonight in its first baseball semifinals appearance in school history, and Florala’s girls softball team will play in their first regional tournament.

This is why the post season is exciting for me, and should be for each of the schools’ fans.

Straughn’s route to the semifinals wasn’t an easy one.

The top-ranked Tigers (31-9) faced early adversity in the first round of the playoffs against St. James, where the Trojans came out firing in game one with a 10-5 win.

However, a small pep talk in between the first two games led to Straughn winning the next four straight playoff games to reach the third round.

Against Oak Grove, Straughn narrowly won the first game 5-4 with the aid of a three-run triple by Chase Short.

Oak Grove split the three-game series with a second game 5-1 win over the Tigers.

The main difference between Straughn and Oak Grove was their playoffs experience.

Straughn had already played a three-game series against St. James, so it knew what the third game was going to be like.

Oak Grove swept both of its opponents in two games each in the first two rounds, and didn’t know what it was like.

Experience won out in the end and spectacular defensive plays at crucial times in game three last Saturday netted Straughn’s semifinal berth.

Before the third round of the baseball playoffs began last week, area softball tournaments took place, and Florala beat Geneva County two times to earn the regional tournament berth.

When I interviewed FHS softball head coach Jonathan Stinson Wednesday for a story, I noticed a confidence in his voice that resonated with me.

He basically said that his team has been working on a few new things in preparation for the tournament this weekend, noting that the Lady Wildcats will “surprise” some folks.

Yet, it was a pleasant surprise that Florala’s girls made it this far in the season.

It’s not every day that you get to be a part of history in the making.

I’m just fortunate I get to experience it front row, center.