Reaching the regional semifinals for the first time in school history wasn't enough for the Vernon Lady Lions. They now appear in the regional finals for the first time in school history.
"It's really neat for me, but I'm really excited for the girls. The fact that they get to have that feeling, and hopefully carry that on into the next round, and just remember how good it felt to win," says Vernon head coach, Jena Cecil.
Vernon pitcher Jade Guzman guided the Lady Lions through exceptional performances in the circle. This weekend, pitching twelve innings, giving up just eight hits, striking out fifteen. And how about at the plate? She accounted for six hits, scoring four runs, and knocking in two, while also stealing two bases. She says this year, she's been able to perfect her craft, "All the other years, I've pitched and played outfield, but this year I've pitched all the games basically. And it's just been fun to see all the different batters and see how I can help my team out."
Jade isn't the only one having success at the plate.
"One through nine right now is hitting. To me, the defense has always been there, Jade's done really good, Lauren's done really good, they work good together, but offensively one through nine we are all hitting the ball," adds Cecil.
Catcher, Lauren Hager says, "We have a lot of experience, most of our girls play summer ball, and we put it all together, and it's working!"
"The fact that they're playing harder and harder each game," continues Cecil. "Seems like they've peaked right now and this is a good time to peak, and I'm very happy with the way that the girls have all just come together, played as a team, and been successful so far, and we're going to keep it going."
The experience is just beginning. The Lady Lions only have one senior on this year's team. A team that's set a new precedent for the years to come.
"We've got several kids that are playing now younger in age, so it's going to be really neat to see each year that comes what we do and how far we go in the playoffs."