Hargrave locked and loaded for title game
Hargrave Softball is locked in, ready to pounce on its prey, like a tiger stalking a wildebeest in the Serengeti. A finely tuned corvette racing through La Mans, hitting their turns at precision speed.
Mentally they are hyperfocused on their task, winning their first state title as a collective unit and bringing that accomplishment back to their supportive community.
"Our state of mind is very, very excited," said Hargrave head softball coach Garrett Gates.
"We got up this morning, had a great breakfast and having a great time."
A win Saturday would add to their 2015 title, this team is looking to add their own thumbprint to the programs legacy. Managing emotions and pressure can bring a heavy burden to a coaching staff.
"We've played 45 games and one thing I've tried to instill in the girls is routine. Routine getting into the box, routine getting ready for a pitch, routine as you pitch. We'll be a little nervous before the game but after the first pitch it will be just another game for us."
As with most of the playoffs this season the outcome Saturday will most likely rely on the shoulders and arm of Katy Janes, the Lady Falcons all-world pitcher who also has been stellar at the plate.
Janes has been nothing short of spectacular this season and carried the Lady Falcons to their semifinal 4-0 win over Fredericksburg with 15 strikeouts and a big RBI to seal the win.
"She's big," said Gates, "she's one of the main reasons why we're here, she had a big game in the circle yesterday, had a bit hit for us, we were able to get an early run that helped us a lot."
The Hargrave contingency showed up strong Thursday afternoon as the overwhelming partisan support for the Lady Falcons fueled their emotions to their biggest win to date.
"With the big crowd and as loud as they were it was an intimidation factor for our girls as well," said Gates.
"We'll be better used to it tomorrow. It was a big crowd for us."
With the Saturday championship game scheduled for 12pm you can bet Hargrave Nation will again represent with history on the line. You can also watch the Hargrave Softball championship game by visiting bit.ly/HargraveBroadcast.