ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Tuesday morning the head honchos of Darton State addressed the East Central District champs with words of wisdom, and advice for the road.
Lea Henry told the Cavaliers it irks her to this day that she competed for a national title three times when she played basketball for Tennessee, but never won one.
Coach Scot Hemmings doesn't want to return to Albany empty handed, and that starts with defeating their first round opponent Cisco College.
"Their offense worries me a little bit," admitted Hemmings. "But as a whole staff they're pitching at about a five, so it looks like they're really offense heavy, and we're going to put together the scouting report tonight and be ready to go Saturday."
The main adjustment Hemmings is concerned with is the affect the higher altitude in Grand Junction will have on how the ball travels in the air.
"It takes a couple weeks to get used to it," he said. "So we're going out a day early, I don't know if that's going to help too much, but it's going to be a different elevation. We're going to try and get out there and run in it a little bit, get out in it as much as possible, and take some batting practice Thursday and Friday to see how the ball flies."
As for leadership as Darton goes into uncharted territory, Hemmings says he leans on pitcher Zach McCurry to rally the team. And he keyed me in on the secret stuff his guys run on.
"We get our thing called Bugs Bunny juice," said the right-handed pitcher. "It's our motivation to keep us going and let us know that we can go harder than what we usually do. And it really keeps us going and motivated through the whole game."
Staying motivated has been important for Darton. They have gone through a roller coaster of a season even off the field with the pending Albany State consolidation looming. But McCurry refuses to let that bother his guys.
"The merger was a downfall especially for the freshmen and us sophomores had to lead them and take them under our wing and let them know everything was going to be alright and we're going to go out with a bang this year."
Their first round series against Cisco College is Saturday at 5 pm eastern standard time.