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Lady Patriots speed into 2009 softball season

The Lady Patriots of Pike Liberal had a down year in 2008, but the squad is looking forward to running through the competition in 2009.

“We have a lot of speed,” head coach Mendy Avant said. “We may have to play small ball if our power doesn’t come, but we will be quick on the bases.”

Pike enters the 2009 campaign with three seniors, but Avant said on the field the leadership could come from the junior class.

“The juniors should carry the weight for us,” Avant said. “We have some good players all around and it should be a good year for us.”

The Lady Patriots are looking to get back to the state playoffs. Last year was the first year in the past six years they did not make an appearance in the postseason.

“We would like to win our region and make the playoffs this year,” Avant said. “We are working our way back there.”

The Lady Patriots open the season Thursday on the road against Prattville Christian Academy and they will face some stiff competition in the tournament they host March 5-7.

“We will have some strong competition coming in here that weekend,” Avant said.

Avant said the Lady Patriots would win games with strong defense that carried over from last year and hitting.

“We will not dominate pitching, but we should be all right with our defense and at the plate,” she said. “Our chemistry should be OK and I will have a lot of help this year, which is great to have.”