Today they’ll take the first step towards the capital city when they take on Clay-Chalkville in the North Regional Softball tournament in Huntsville at 8 a.m.
“There are 32 teams left and we feel very fortunate to be one of them,” Pell City head coach Terry Isbell said. “All we are concerned about is finishing second. If we finish second we will be playing in Montgomery.”
This season the Lady Panthers are having a stellar year. The Lady Panthers defeated area foe Gadsden City and Oxford to advance to the class 6A North Regional Softball Tournament. This season the Panthers have won the most games in school history and they are looking to add to that total today.
“We are 33-15 this year; we have had a good year,” Isbell said. “We have had back-to-back 30-plus wins seasons, which I don’t think that we have done in the history of the school. This senior class, we get to say this every year so far the last four classes have been the winningest class in school history. So far the last four years, we have been able to say that every year.”
Records or rankings really doesn’t mean anything in softball. Last season the Lady Panthers were one of top 10 teams in the regular season, but didn’t get a chance to compete in the playoffs.
“We were 33-9 and got put out in the area tournament,” Isbell said. “That is one thing about softball; if you have one bad game you are at home. We had one of the better records in 6A last year. We were ranked in the top 10 most of the year and we didn’t make it. That’s part of the game.”
The Lady Panthers take on Clay-Chalkville in the first game of the double elimination tournament today at 8 a.m.
Clay-Chalkville swept the season series with the Lady Panthers. The Lady Cougars won their first matchup of the season on Feb, 19, 1-0. The teams squared off again on March 8 with Clay-Chalkville claiming the game 4-1. Isbell believes that his Lady Panthers are more than capable of knocking off Clay-Chalkville.
“We have had some awful luck against Clay over the last few years,” Isbell said. “A lot of times it has been because they have had better players than us. That is not the case this time.
“I think we are better than them. We have to go out there and execute, hit the ball and play good defense. I’m not taking anything away from them; they have a good ball club, in fact they beat us twice this year, but I believe we are better.”
The Lady Panthers will have their ace pitcher Allie Hall on the mound for them in Huntsville. The junior pitcher has been dominant for the Lady Panthers this season, but their ace will need help.
“She has been doing a good job for us the last two years,” Isbell said. “We just have to identify that number two pitcher that can help her out.”