Patriots host Lee-Scott in opening round of playoffs
Published 8:50 am Thursday, April 18, 2019
The Pike Liberal Arts Lady Patriots enter the postseason on a high note after sweeping a doubleheader on Tuesday night.
The Patriots will host a first round doubleheader against Lee-Scott on Monday beginning at 4 p.m.
“We have to play Lee-Scott to see who goes to state,” said head coach Robert Rollan. “If we win two there, we advance. We played as well as I have seen us play since the break. Right before spring break we were playing really well. (Tuesday), I saw the same team against Fort Dale that I saw against Abbeville. We played a real clean ball game. I am starting to see them get back in that form that they were in before spring break.”
When things are going right, Rollan believes his team is best when they can pitch and score early runs, earning an early lead.
“We play really good defense, we don’t make a lot of mistakes,” Rollan said. “Our pitching is strong and we score early. We may get one here and one there and before long we break open for three, four, six or seven runs. When we are on, that’s the way we play.”
Dannah Dawson, Ally Rushing and Morgan Bundy have been the three main pitchers for the Patriots this season and will be looked at to log key innings in the postseason.
“All three girls have done really well,” Rollan said. “Dannah and Ally have shouldered the majority of the innings and have done well and Morgan has pitched in games early in the year. We have issues with sickness and everybody has had to pick each other up, but they have all done a really good at throwing strikes.
“I feel confident in all our pitchers that they can go out there and throw strikes and give us a chance to win.”
The Patriots have a deeper lineup than Rollan has featured in years past. It’s a lineup that he feels is potent all the way through.
“We have gotten better at that,” Rollan said. “When I first got here, we were thin in the lineup. Now, we are hitting deep down in the order and scoring a lot of runs and that’s what you need. A lot of times when you look at teams winning championships, it’s not one through four (in the lineup), it’s five through nine that wins it for you.”
The Patriots made a deep run in last season’s playoffs. They made it to Lagoon Park in Montgomery and walked away with third place. With many players back and now a year older, Rollan hopes his team can take the next step.
“Our girls are older,” Rollan said. “They are very competitive and they remember last year’s third place finish and they are not satisfied with it. They want to be better than that and go further. They understand that there is no guarantee that they are going to be better than third. They have to go out and earn it.”