“Our seniors have been playing for a while,” Munford head coach Darrell Smith said. “The last three or four years and it is there goal to get to the state tournament in Montgomery. They have worked hard and we have peaked here at the end of the season. We started out strong, then we fell off and made a lot of mistakes. In the last six or seven ball games we have really put it together. The whole lineup has been hitting. We have had a lot of people to step up. Taking this next step in the Regional Tournament is huge for Munford. We won the state championship in 2001, so that is something we want to do. We want to add another banner up here. These girls are hungry for it.”
The Lady Lions are on a six game winning streak going into the Regional Tournament. Senior Laurel Browning believes falling to Childersburg at home was the turning point of their season.
“We got embarrassed,” Browning said. “It was a home game and we walked away with our tails between our legs. We sat down and Coach Smith talked to us. We sat there for an hour in the outfield talking about what we need to improve on and what our goals were. We needed to get our heads into the game and realize this is it. We have more to do and we are going to quite here.”
Jessica Butterworth said the Lady Lions are playing the best softball that they have played since she has been in high school.
“I think we are playing our best as a team than we have the last four years,” Butterworth said. “I think this is our year to do it if we are going to do it. We have a real strong senior base. The seniors are leaders. The underclassmen are stepping up and doing their job. Our pitcher is a ninth grader. She is playing strong and winning games that we need her to win. We have an excellent defense and our hitting is coming around. We are doing extra hitting drill at practice and it is really helping. It showed in the area tournament.”
Freshman Kierra Groce played a huge role in Munford winning their first area tournament in four years.
Groce earned wins in two games and came in late to seal a victory in another game. Smith is pleased with her performance.
“She has come in and been phenomenal as far as consistency,” Smith said. “She is one of those athletes that cannot only pitch, but she can play outfield and infield. As a ninth grader we have let her know that we are depending on her to pitch and keep us in ball games. We are going to hit the ball and try to win it at the end. She is a great kid and she is another one of those three sport athletes. She doesn’t get to spend much time to softball in the off-season, because she is playing volleyball and basketball. She is a great athlete.”
“Last year we went there and we really didn’t know what we were going up against,” Macoy said. “This year we researched the teams and we know a lot about them. We going in there knowing a lot and hopefully that will pay off.
Savanah Macoy said seeing better pitchers gave them problems last year in the tournament. She feels like facing pitchers at Oxford tournament
“We did pretty good on it,” Macoy said. “We just have to swing the bat and put the ball in play.”
Class 4A Area 9 tournament MVP Tashayla Turner said strong defense and getting hits is going to be vital if they are going to advance.
“We are going to have to back up out pitchers,” Turner said. “We are going to have to play good defense. We are to have to have everybody hitting. We are going to have to go in playing hard and like Coach Smith says ‘we need one big day’. We have had ours now it is time to continue on.”
Contact LaVonte Young at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @LY_DHSports.