East Webster looks to punch ticket to state title series
East Webster Wolverines
It has been nearly a full month since the East Webster softball team got the chance to play on their home field.
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Now, the Wolverines return to action in Cumberland with plenty on the line.
In a battle for the Class 2A North championship, East Webster faces Hatley in a best-of-three series with the opening contest slated for 5:30 p.m. today on the Wolverines' home turf.
Due to the storms that caused massive damage in Cumberland on April 27, today's contest will be East Webster's first true home game since the regular season finale on April 19.
While it's special to return home, that's not East Webster's focus according to head coach Meleah Brown.
Instead, the main concern is a talented Hatley squad that defeated the Wolverines in two previous meetings during the regular season.
"Their pitching is their strength," said Brown. "Their pitcher (Lesley Hudson) does a good job of keeping our hitters off balance. She is good with locating her fastball and throws her change-up consistently for a strike."
Hudson's efforts pushed the Tigers to both prior victories against the Wolverines this season.
In Cumberland, Hatley won a 3-1 decision and defeated East Webster 5-2 in Hatley.
While her team dropped both contests, Brown hopes Hatley's prior success against East Webster actually comes back to haunt the Tigers.
"I'm hoping they come in and overlook us," said Brown. "I've been drilling in our girls' minds that it's all about what happens in these playoffs. Just because Hatley beat us in the regular season means nothing. This is when it counts the most.
"For us to win though, it's going to have to be a team effort and everyone is going to have to do their job. Everyone is going to have to bring their 'A' game to beat Hatley."
Following today's game, the series will shift sites to Hatley for the remainder of the set beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Whoever advances from the series will go on to face either Enterprise or Taylorsville in the state title series on May 20-21 at Freedom Ridge Park in Ridgeland.