Lady Cats return to region semifinal
By Richard Greene
The Pilot Point Lady Cats defeated Lovejoy last season to reach the region semifinal, but could not take the next step falling to North Lamar.
Friday, the Lady Cats (34-2-1) will get that second chance at making a region final and continue a dream season. Pilot Point will take on Commerce in a Class 2A Region II semifinal series at Northeast Texas Community College in Mount Pleasant. Game one will be at 6 p.m. with game two following. The third game, if necessary, is slated for 10 a.m. Saturday.
“We’re so ready to play,” said Pilot Point senior pitcher Skylar Cagle. “Not many people get a second chance.”
The Lady Cats other seniors agree that this is the opportunity they’ve longed for.
“We’re so excited to be back here though it seems we got here faster than last year,” said third baseman Haley Evans.
First baseman Kalyn Salsman added: “We want to get past this round.”
Doing that would put them one step away from the program’s second state tournament appearance.
But none of the Lady Cats are looking ahead.
“We know each game can be our last,” Cagle said. “There’s a purpose when we step on the field and that’s to win.”
In the first two rounds of the playoffs, the Lady Cats have been nearly flawless. After dispatching Ponder in an area game 5-0, Pilot Point swept Grandview in two games. The Lady Cats outscored Grandview 12-1 in the two games.
Cagle allowed one run on five hits in the 14 innings of the series. The Pilot Point bats supported her with 19 hits, including five going for extra bases.
Pilot Point coach James Ramsey likes the way his team is playing.
“If we keep swinging the sticks the way we are, we feel good about our chances,” he said. “We have a lot of kids capable of delivering the timely hits. Skylar is throwing the ball well.
“We’re playing good softball. Obviously we’d like to take the next step. But to do that we have put in the work and we know that we’ll have to play well to beat Commerce.”
Commerce won District 14-2A. The Lady Tigers swept Paris Chisum in two games in the area round and took down New Boston 6-4 in the region quarterfinal.
“They have a couple of pitchers that are throwing good and a couple of slappers that can run,” Ramsey said.
The confident Lady Cats know what they must do to dispatch of Commerce.
“We just have to play our game and come out strong,” said senior center fielder Sierra Brooks.
The Lady Cats will make a long two-hour trip out to Mount Pleasant for the series. Ramsey agreed to the site where Commerce had previously played to avoid a coin flip for a single game instead of a series. His team, which played a tournament in San Marcos over Spring Break, doesn’t mind the road trip.
“We have fun on long road trips,” Brooks said.
Sealing a trip to the region final would make for a fun adventure.