Lady Cats seek state berth

Published 12:03 am Friday, May 9, 2014

Florala’s girls know they have a chance to make it to the state tournament next week as the Lady Wildcats start their quest to play at Lagoon Park today at the Class 1A South Regional in Gulf Shores.

Lady Wildcats coach Pat Maddox said the girls are pretty excited about the opportunity.

“We’re playing real well right now,” Maddox said. “It’s important for us to make routine plays.”

Maddox added that not making those routine plays are what killed his team last weekend against Pleasant Home in the area tournament.

“We’re a very good team, but we’re not good enough to make mistakes and survive against good teams,” he said. “Routine has to be just that — routine. Hopefully, we can make some miraculous plays.”

The Lady Cats start their regional play today at 3:30 p.m. against J.U. Blacksher.

Throughout the season, FHS has had the opportunity to play some of the other teams in the regional’s 1A bracket, namely Kinston, Brantley, McKenzie and of course, PHS.

Maddox said the adversity the girls faced in the area tournament will end up helping them this weekend.

“It lets us know that we can (compete with the other teams),” the coach said. “We’ve beat some good teams. We beat W.S. Neal, who unfortunately isn’t going to be down at the regional. We beat Straugh, which is a very, very good team. We’ve played close with Leroy and Excel. We played Kinston very close.

“Softball is like any other game, it matters how the ball bounces. If they don’t bounce our way, then we’ll have problems,” he said.

The FHS coach said he’s looking for Bailea Rickett, Sammy Hammac, Keadra Avan and Lily Ritzel to have good tournaments this weekend.

The Lady Wildcats have to win their first three games to earn a berth to Montgomery next week. If they win the first two today and fall in the first game tomorrow, then they still have a good chance at securing that needed state berth.

In order to get to state, the girls must get their minds right and focused on the task, Maddox said.

“We’re playing our best ball right now,” he said. “ I feel like we are. We’re looking for big things. I’m excited for our chances, for our girls and hope they will show up and play.”