Article and Photography by Alice Mary Herden
NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) D II District F championship held at Springwood Park in Burlington, NC is a double-elimination tournament and runs May 9-11. Nine teams are competing in the tournament and PHSC will enter as the third seed. Who they will be playing against is unknown at this time.
About their unknown competition Coach, Ryan said,
“Unfamiliar territory- you are not really sure of what their strengths are, what their weaknesses are because you have never had to play against them. You are going up there to compete.”
Winner of the NJCAA DII District F Championship advances to the NJCAA DII National Championship in Clinton, MS that runs May 22-25.
PHSC closed the 2019 regular season with an impressive 11 game winning streak. They are the only team in their division and faced many doubleheaders throughout the season.
“We make sure to condition and practice to get us prepared to play those doubleheaders,” Sophomore Savannah Hicks said.
Diana Rayder added that mental preparation is huge. “Before the game, we try to hype each other up especially the second one (game). We are always making sure we’re staying up and in the game.”
The most challenging team for PHSC so far was Hillsborough Community College. Their first doubleheader facing Hillsborough Community College was back in February with devastating results. The first game ended in a 19-0 loss and the second game was a loss of 11-4. However, the ladies had the opportunity to prove themselves on their home field with a round-robin game on March 9. Bobcats held their ground defensively and pushed their offense for a 2-1 win.
“That was the hardest game of our season, and we really had to zone in just making quality at-bats, so we had to think about the team rather than ourselves,” Alyssa Baratta said. “It was really a mentally challenging game.”
“We had to stay into it the entire time,” Brandy Ashmore added. “Especially after that game it really brought us together as a team because we saw what we all could do.”
Now it’s time to bring all the experience they have garnered this season to the field in Burlington, NC.