Playing with confidence

Published 12:02 am Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pleasant Home’s Brianna Dozier slides safely into third base during last week’s south regional tournament in Gulf Shores. The Lady Eagles play top-ranked Ragland today at 9 a.m. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

If there’s one thing Pleasant Home softball coach Bradley Stephens wants his team to carry over to the state tournament from regionals, it’s confidence.

“That’s the main thing,” Stephens said. “The girls are doing that. They’re confident. They feel good.”

The Lady Eagles will begin their Class 1A state tournament run today at 9 a.m. against top-ranked Ragland (runner up from the North Central Regional Tournament) at Lagoon Park in Montgomery.

Stephens said Ragland is a good match up for PHS, and has a good pitcher.

“Their pitcher throws hard,” he said. “The good thing is that it’s a blessing and a curse. When you have a pitcher who’s not going to miss her spots, you know she’s going to throw her spots.

“With this girl — of everything I’ve been told — if the coach calls a fast ball inside, it’s going to be a strike,” he said. “She does not walk very many people.”

PHS enters the state tournament as the top seed coming from the south after winning the regional in Gulf Shores last week. The Lady Eagles had to beat rival Kinston twice to win the regional title.

But now, Stephens said it’s the state tournament and there aren’t anymore “gimmees.”

“We’re playing two teams that coming from their regional, four of the top five were in their regional,” he said. “Two of the four went home.”

When asked about how he feels going into this week, Stephens said it’s the exact same way he felt about regionals.

“If we play our best every game, we can win state,” he said.

The Lady Eagles will play their first game on Field No. 6 at Lagoon Park. Admission is $10 per day.