Chance to clinch

Softball can lock up playoffs with win over Prosper

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Chance to clinch

The softball team needs a win tonight over Rival Prosper to officially lock up a playoff spot.

The softball team needs a win tonight over Rival Prosper to officially lock up a playoff spot.

Stu Mair

The softball team needs a win tonight over Rival Prosper to officially lock up a playoff spot.

Stu Mair

Stu Mair

The softball team needs a win tonight over Rival Prosper to officially lock up a playoff spot.

Nick Smith, Lead Reporter

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Currently sitting in third place with a 7-4 district record, the softball team can clinch a playoff spot with a win against rival Prosper Eagles tonight at home.

Head coach Jeff Roberts said the key to winning tonight will be to shut out the Eagles’s key player.

“Abby Smith is the best hitter in the district power wise and she’s already committed to Texas A&M,” Roberts said. “We can’t let her control the game. When they played Wylie East, they won 9-7 and Abby had two homeruns and six RBIs, so we have to be smart and not allow one person to breakdown our team. We’re going to work the edges and make sure we don’t get beat by her stick.”

The softball team has seen many players sidelined due to injuries or lingering pains and has yet to have a practice where all players have been able to attend, though Roberts said he saw a glimpse of what the team would play like with a full, healthy roster last night against Wylie East.

“It’s like I told the girls last night after the game, all year long during the fall I thought about what we were going to look like and since we’ve played 27 games where we didn’t look like how we expected us to,” Roberts said. “A lot of that was due to injury and that’s just part of the game sometimes, but last night was the first time I saw a piece of what we can really do. Hopefully that piece isn’t the peak of our play and we can improve from here.”

One of the players that has been on and off the bench all season has been freshman pitcher Mattie Boyd. Boyd was told during pre-season that her recovery time was initially six weeks, but she since found out she was diagnosed incorrectly which has made the process longer.

“I am pitching again, but I am still not at 100 percent,” Boyd said. “I’ve been working really hard on getting better, and I recently got a steroid injection in my spine which has temporarily taken away some of the pain. The process is slow but I’m on the right road to being at full strength.”

The game against Wylie East was rescheduled twice this week from Tuesday due to rain, but Roberts said he isn’t worried about the girls having to play consecutive games as the playoff schedule is very similar. Roberts said he was really impressed with the girls play last night.

“We played well overall even though we made a mistake in the first inning off a base running error, but other than that we pretty much had control of the game,” Roberts said. “Emily and JoJo both woke back up with hitting the ball which is huge for us, because when those two are getting on base we score a lot of runs. All parts of our batting order were producing last night and if we can continue to that we can be really successful.”

The rivalry with Prosper High School has been a long tradition between the two schools though recent UIL redistricting will make this the last district game between the two teams. Senior Jaclyn Willis said she was looking forward to “a fun game.”

“The rivalry gives us some additional motivation,” Willis said. “And even though it doesn’t really matter to a lot of people, Prosper is really enjoyable to play especially when we get a rally or something exciting happens in the game. Now that everybody is back from injuries we are definitely a refreshed team and ready to play.”

 

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