Slocum Softball Going To State

By Greg Ritchie

Messenger Reporter

SLOCUM – The Slocum Lady Mustangs had to get past the Moulton Lady Bobkatz in the regional playoffs Saturday, May 18. The girls had to win the best-of-three series to have a chance at a state title, but won in two games, giving them the honor of going to state. 

Head Coach David Ives told The Messenger the sweep was all down to fundamentals, which is usually the case in softball, led by great pitching and hitting from the team. With the double header on a warm Saturday, the Lady Mustangs had their ups and downs on the field, but once they got their second wind, extra runs from the hot bats gave them the edge. 

In the first game, pitcher and freshman Chloe Bailey was tough to beat on the mound, assisted by catcher, freshman and Chloe’s twin sister Claire. It is not known if the pair used a “twin connectedness” to notch the wins, but being in-sync throughout the game didn’t hurt. 

The game included several over-the-fence home runs, including a long shot by Senior Lexi Bennett. The Lady Mustangs were unbeatable at the plate – each of the girls in the rotation hit at least one RBI in the 15-1 victory. 

During the 30 minute break between the first and second games, the girls took a break to get hydrated and rest muscles and take a minute to savor the win. Coach Ives made sure they didn’t let the strong showing go to their heads, warning them the Moulton team was probably feeling embarrassed after their performance and would be itching for a fight in the next game. 

Coach Ives’ instinct, honed over 30 years coaching, proved to be true, as the Lady Mustangs came out a little slower in the beginning of the game, with Moulton showing they deserved to be in the regionals, holding the game to 4-3 Slocum in the middle of the game. When the sixth inning came, the Lady Mustangs got back to their strength – knocking in six runs, turning their 4-3 lead to a 10-3 lead and giving them some breathing room for the rest of the game. 

They would score one final run to end the game 11-3, punching their ticket to go to state, with their first game set for Tuesday, May 28 in Austin. Game time and opponents are still up in the air, as the girls’ potential opponents will still be playing later this week to see who will take them on. 

Monday is a school holiday, but the team will head out a day early to stretch muscles and get some field time after the long drive to Austin and before Tuesday’s games. Students are planning a rally and send-off for the team this Thursday at the school. 

Coach Ives noted this is the first time these girls have made it to the state level, although several of them experienced it through older sisters when the team made it to state several years ago. He noted the noise and enthusiasm from the fans in the stands and the girls in the dugout showed the team spirit and support from families, staff and students. 

The Messenger will update this story with exact game times and opponents in our Sunday edition and online. Good luck to the Slocum Lady Mustangs!

Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]

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