Bulldogs prepped for Abbeville

Published 3:00 am Thursday, May 5, 2016

For most of Pike County Lady Bulldogs, Thursday’s first round of the Area 4 Tournament will be their first taste of playoff softball.

The Bulldogs face Abbeville at 4 p.m.

“Ready or not here we come,” said Bulldogs head coach Fawn Sims. “The girls are excited.”

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The Bulldog roster is full of eighth- and ninth-graders, many of which have yet to experience the playoffs.

“The new one’s really don’t know what to expect. They just know it’s elimination time,” Sims said. “They are excited. Once they get there it will be game time as usual.”

The Bulldogs finished the 2016 with a 7-16 record, but have played with a lot more confidence as the season wrapped.

“That is extremely important.” Sims said. “Lack of confidence comes from not being prepared. That is why it was so important for us to get after it at practice. Confidence comes from being prepared and being comfortable with what you are doing. They seem to know what they are doing.”

The Bulldogs beat the Yellow Jackets in their regular season game, but the win did not come easily.

“We respect them because they are athletes,” Sims said. “They are competitive and very scrappy. In the past we usually don’t have problems with them past a certain inning, but last time we let them sneak up on us, we let them have one big inning and they almost came back to beat us. I think we learned from that.”

The Bulldogs will be without their lone senior for Thursday’s game. Lakin Turner, who injured her ankle, will be forced to sit during the game.

“Her ankle was a freak accident,” Sims said. “The girls have responded to it and so has Lakin. She is not feeling sorry for herself. She accepts it.”

One advantage the Bulldogs may have is their pitching. They enter the game with two quality pitchers who could make the difference come playoff time.

Both Brooke Bennett and Senkethia Thompson pitched well, albeit in a losing effort to Charles Henderson on Monday. They allowed a combined three runs in the two games.

“Both of them are good to go,” Sims said. “I feel like I can put both of them in the circle and they are going to get the job done.”