Lady Eagles open regional with familiar foe

Published 10:33 pm Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Goshen softball coaches Dee Hughes and Amy Warrick wear the battle scars of the long season the Lady Eagles have endured, but neither are ready for the season to end.

Hughes has an injured finger from getting hit in batting practice, and Warrick wears a shiner under her right eye from an errant ball.

But the Goshen softball team keeps practicing in preparation for the regional tournment in Troy this weekend.

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The Lady Eagles finished runner-up in their area to Zion Chapel and drew a familiar foe, Central-Hayneville, in the first round of the tournament.

Hughes said that her teams remembers the Lions well.

“They were in our area last year, and we played them five times,” said Hughes. “We beat them three times and they got us twice. We were the No. 1 seed in the area last year, and they were able to play a game before us, and that’s a scary feeling sometimes.”

This season, Goshen and Central will be even in terms of games played.

The Lady Eagles and Lions will open the regional tournament at 8 a.m. on Friday.

In preparation for the early start time, Goshen has been practicing at 6 a.m. This week, and Hughes feels that the Lady Eagles are “creatures of habit.”

“We always like to hit in the cage and get warm out our field, and we will do the same this week,” Hughes said. “We like to go through our stations and get out tee work in before taking batting practice. We want to do all that before we head to Troy, so to prep for that we have been getting here early.”

Prior to last week’s area tournament, Hughes felt that her team needed a boost of confidence. Goshen went to Elba as the No. 2 seed, and beat New Brockton and top-seeded Elba en route to earning a berth in the regional.

Hughes thinks the run over two days in Elba, allowed her young team to develop the confidence they needed.

“We had four extra inning ball games, and a ton of close games down the stretch,” said Hughes. “That did wonders to help us prepare for the playoffs and getting to state.”

Goshen and Central-Haynville meet at 8 a.m. On Friday at the Troy Sportsplex.