Lady Bulldogs prepare for Playoff run
By Brady Keane BCC Contributor
With the regular season now concluded, the Lady Bulldog softball team is headed into the playoffs to take on the Somerset Bulldogs. After a tough loss to Fredericksburg in the season finale, a game that ended up serving as the district championship due to the fact that there were multiple teams tied atop the district leaderboard, the Lady Bulldogs are excited at the opportunity to move on and fight towards fulfilling their season motto and goal of "Road to State".
"The loss made us see how much harder we were going to have to work in the playoffs to reach our goals," sophomore second baseman and pitcher Shelby Faglie said. "We are missing some players yes, but if every girl on the field and in the dugout wants it more than the girls on the other side, we will make it to the next level."
The ladies "district championship" game against Fredericksburg, although a disappointing 16-4 loss, went a long way to towards helping the team realize what needs to change in order to make a long run in the state playoffs.
"We just need to work on some of the small things," sophomore catcher Katelyn Cornwell said. "Our pitchers have to stay strong on that circle while hitting their spots, and as a whole we need to stay focused defensively even when they start scoring runs."
The game against the Billies served not only as a makeshift district championship game, but also marked senior night for the Lady Bulldogs. This year's squad had only one senior, third baseman Lexie Dusek, and as the lone senior on the team, it is easy to spot the leadership Dusek brings to the field each game.
"I wouldn't trade this season for the world," Dusek said. "I had to work hard this season to earn my position at third base, and I love this team so much."
Overall, the ladies have had a largely successful district season, going 6-4 throughout district play. After starting off strong, the ladies entered a bit of a slide towards the end, going just 1-4 in the last five games. The loss of sophomore starting pitcher Krystian Osbourn to a broken wrist significantly hurt the Lady Bulldogs, but other young pitchers have begun to step up in her absence.
The emergence of sophomore Mikaela Tschirhart at the varsity level to replace Osbourn for the remainder of the season has certainly shown promise here in the last few weeks. Tschirhart's first start at the varsity level was a complete game, one run outing in a dominating win against the Boerne Greyhounds just a few weeks ago. That game definitely gave the ladies a glimpse of the future, as Tschirhart and the defense shut down a good Greyhound offense to win that game.
However after the Boerne win, the ladies have limped towards the finish line in the final few games. The slump in the second half of district is something the team will need to overcome to be successful this week, and moving forward in the playoffs.
"As a team, we believe in each other and know what we need to do in order to succeed at the next level," sophomore Kortney Slagle said. "We have made it this far and are very motivated and determined to leave these last few losses behind us and go deep into the playoffs. All we need to do is focus and believe in one another enough."
The Bi-District Championship game against Somerset will be played as a series with the best 2 out of 3, with the first game at Somerset on Thursday (April 24) at 7pm and Friday (April 25) at Bandera at 6pm. If a third game is required, it will be played immediatley after at 8pm.