The School Newspaper of Plano West High School

PWSH Blueprints

Softball Season Staying Strong

Whitney Patterson, Staff Writer

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The girls softball team is preparing for the State playoffs after winning the 2017 Co District champion title along with Plano East. The team hopes that their dedication and love of the sport will pay off.

“We have a lot of high expectations,” head coach Mike Ledsome said. “We’ve won district and now we’re trying to do well in the playoffs. State is something that we’re shooting for this year and I think we have a good shot.”

Ledsome began his coaching career at Jasper 20 years ago when they started a softball program there. When West opened up in 1999, he took the job.

“One of my favorite things about coaching softball is that the atmosphere is more fast paced,” Ledsome said. “I love the ins and outs of being strategic and trying to score a run here or there.”

This strategy has served the team well as they won the flip against East and are currently the first seed in State playoffs. At this point, they are 24-4 overall and ranked two in the area and sixth in the State.

“I’m expecting us to make a long run,” senior and first base player Gabi Hancher said. “We have the same pitcher as last year and the same lineup. We got to the third round of playoffs last year and we should have gone farther so I’m hoping we’ll make it past that this year.”

To keep their winning streak going, the team has to face the challenge of keeping momentum going and being ready for the intensity that playoffs present.

“One of our biggest challenges is the week by week grind,” Ledsome said. “Playoffs are six straight weeks long so keeping the girls motivated and ready to play is the main challenge.”

During seventh period, when the team practices, the girls play with the same gameday determination. Hancher credits practice as the key to her success.

“We practice at game speed,” Hancher said. “Every practice we have we try to simulate a game like atmosphere so when we we play the game we’re prepared.”

At age five, Hancher joined a tee-ball team, and has been playing softball ever since. Her determination to make it to State has grown throughout her high school career.

“Since it’s my senior year and since we have seven starting seniors we feel the pressure,” Hancher said. “We know it’s our last year and our last chance to make it to State.”

Senior and pitcher Sierra Lange, who has played softball since the age of eight, and will continue her athletic career next year at George Washington University, enjoys the team atmosphere softball provides.

“My favorite part of being in softball is the whole team aspect,” Lange said. “We have softball 7th period so knowing at the end of the day I can come to class and rely on them is an amazing feeling.”

Before they leave the dugout, the girls pray, say a chant and touch their good luck symbol, a hand drawn picture of Batman. Whether the Lady Wolves make it to State or not, the bonds formed between the girls and the memories of playing the game they love will remain.

“Cherish every moment that you get with your team,” Hancher said. “It’ll be over before you know it.”

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The School Newspaper of Plano West High School
Softball Season Staying Strong