The Perry softball team dropped seven games in a row in the middle of the season and was in danger of not making any noise come postseason play.
The team has since rebounded and sits among the final eight teams in GHSA Class 4A vying for a state title. Perry faces Marist at 5 p.m. on Thursday in the first round of the championship tournament in Columbus.
Panthers head coach Kyle Davis says his team has embraced the underdog role.
“I feel like we are the the underdogs in this whole deal because nobody thought we would make it this far,” Davis said. “I guess you could say we took on that Cinderella shoe and just riding it as far as we can.”
A key to the team’s success has been the power of its bats. The Panthers haven’t scored fewer than 10 runs during the playoffs.
“I think it’s just discipline at the plate,” Davis said. “We have really stressed to the girls about being disciplined and swinging at quality pitches.”
Davis’ concern lies on the routine plays on defense. He believes his offense can power through to the next round.
“I know they have got a good pitcher. I think she throws in the low 60s,” Davis said. “I’m not really scared of anyone’s pitching. I think our bats are the strongest asset to our team.”
The main thing that Davis and his staff have been telling the players is to enjoy the experience of being among the final eight teams. He also hopes that this is just the beginning of his team becoming a contender for years to come.
“It is not an easy task, so I just want them to go over there and enjoy it,” Davis said. “They can get that taste for it so next year the girls that are coming back will be fighting hard to get back there.”
Despite the team already making noise in the playoffs, Davis doesn’t think his team is done yet.
“I think we are peaking at the right time, Davis said. “My goal going into Columbus is that I want every other team in the elite eight to know who Perry is.”