• 68°

Familiar Territory: One pitch, One out, One inning at a time

In a week filled with numerous distractions, high expectations and enough nervous excitement to power the town of Linden, the Demopolis High Lady Tigers softball team must prepare to defend their 2003 4A State Championship. But this week is like any other for the 31-9 Tigers, except this week is where all the hard work and sacrifices pay off.

“We have prepared for this all season,” DHS head coach Wayne Harris said. “We’ve played 41 games, traveled all over the state, played in all types of weather conditions and at all times of the day and night. The only thing left to do is remain focused on what we want.”

Though the Lady Tigers are only 84 outs, 28 innings and four games away from accomplishing that goal, they prefer to focus on the smaller things.

“We don’t look at the big numbers, it’s too distracting,” Harris said. “We prefer to break down those numbers into the smallest increments possible, one pitch, one out and one inning at a time, that’s the only way to win it all.”

And if anyone knows how to win it all, it’s the DHS Lady Tigers. Last year the Lady Tigers battled through poor weather conditions and the losers bracket to capture their first state championship. This year they are prepared to do the same and more if needed.

“Last year we sat through a three hour rain delay before our final game, and played in some of the worst field conditions possible,” Harris said. “But the key was remaining focused. We’ve been through it all before and we are prepared to do it all again if it means bringing home another state championship.”

Though the Tigers are well aware of the many different opponents they will face this weekend, their only concern at this time is Alexandria.

“Alexandria is our first and for most concern right now,” Harris said. “We can’t afford to look beyond them.”