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Lady Eagles working toward a trip to state
ARLINGTON — Having already clinched a spot in the upcoming Districts playoffs, the Arlington Eagles girls softball team faced off against Stanwood, May 4, and battled back from an early deficit for a 11-10 victory.
“Our defense had a really tough game,” said head coach Lonnie Hicks. “We had eight errors today which is unbelievable for us.”
And while it may have been a tough day defensively for the Eagles, their offense came alive for 21 hits, getting the game-winning run in the seventh inning.
The Eagles are battling the Marysville-Pilchuck Tomahawks for the top spot in the Wesco North League as the regular season winds down and Districts approach.
“When you’re in first or second place, everybody is gunning for you,” said Hicks about the remaining regular season games, including a May 6 game against M-P.
“It’s going to be a really exciting game,” said Hicks referring to the game against the Tomahawks. “When we played them last time [April 1], they had a really good inning and we had to come back from a five-run deficit. We battled back and handed them their only loss of the season. They’re certainly going to want revenge for that loss.”
In his first year as head coach, Hicks credits the team’s maturity for the success the Eagles have had this season.
“I walked into the program with my own style and ideas,” said Hicks. “The transition was a little hard for both them and me, but we worked it out together and now I think we have a very, very strong team mentally.”
That tough mentality helps the team overcome difficult situations according to the coach.
“They just don’t get down when bad things happen, like today when we had eight errors,” Hicks said. “They just didn’t get down on each other, they stay up with each other, pulling for each other so they give themselves a chance to win.”
The Eagles’ final regular season game is May 11 against Monroe, and the Districts playoffs begin May 17.
“Moving into Districts we’ll be refining some of the things we find ourselves a little weak on, things that we can improve,” said Hicks. “It’s time now where we have most of the things set up, but there are still just some things that we need to implement to allow them to play at the next level.”
Hicks said he also wants the Eagles to continue playing their game.
“We’re pretty strong offensively,” Hicks said. “We’ve been hitting the ball really well all season so our strength is our offense.”
Two Eagles are hitting the ball particularly well this season.
“Veronica Ladines, a sophomore pitcher, is hitting over .600 for the season and she has six home runs,” said Hicks. “And senior Kalie Basher, who has been an anchor at first base, is hitting over .400. And defensively, when you throw her the ball she catches it and makes the play.”
While not taking anything for granted, Hicks said his team ultimately has its sights set on making it to the state tournament.
“The whole team wants our seniors to make it to state,” said Hicks. “Arlington hasn’t been to state since 1997. The last couple of years they’ve been close but didn’t make it, including last year when they were just one pitch away from making it.”