October 24, 2006
Valdosta -- The Lowndes softball team is making the trip to Columbus for the Softball Elite Eight State Tournament for the third time in the past five years.
The Lady Vikings looking for their first state title, with their best finish a runner-up in 2002.
With seven new starters this season, the Lowndes softball team has had an up-and-down year.
Head coach Jared Dickey says, "We had a roller coaster ride the whole season, and we fought and scratched and clawed our way into the playoffs."
The Lady Vikings entered the South sectional as a four-seed, and lost their opening game to #1 East Coweta.
"We were down on Friday night, and we thought it was over with," says Dickey, "but we came out with some new confidence on Saturday, and rattled off four wins in a row."
Senior Savannah Roberts says the first-round loss fueled their tournament run.
"I think that's the reason we did win it," says Roberts. "We knew we had to."
Lowndes advancing to the Elite Eight last year as well, but were out of the double elimination after just two games.
Coach Dickey says it's all about catching fire at the right time.
"Not only does the best team not always win it, it's a lot about who's playing well at the time. Right now we really seem to be peaking and building," says Dickey. "It's just who's playing the best right now."
The Lady Vikings have set their sights on a state title.
"I think right now we're playing as a team," says Roberts. "We're not worried about losing, we're just playing together."
Senior Ansley Thomas adds, "We want state. State or nothing else."
Lowndes opens up the tournament against Mill Creek Thursday at 4pm.
If the Lady Vikings win their opening round game, they could be facing a second round re-match with East Coweta.
The double-elimination tournament runs through Saturday in Columbus.