Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sports Talk: The Underdog District

As a correspondent sports writer for The Casey County News, I write an weekly editorial column for the publication. Published May 29, 2013. 
Every athlete is always reminded that anything can happen in the post season and we have all seen it happen, but the excitement of when it does (as long as you are the underdog, that is) never gets old.
What an unpredictable outcome for the 47th District softball tournament last week! Not only did the top two seeds not even make it to the championship game, but the only team to not pick up a single regular season district win, won the tournament title: Rockcastle County.
The upsets began with our very own Lady Rebels taking on the number two team of Pulaski County. This was a team they lost to twice during the regular season: 0-2 and 2-9. Those girls did not just defeat Pulaski in their tournament game, they creamed them. As in, 12-2 so they did not even have to play all seven innings.
I’m not sure if Rockcastle was motivated by our own Lady Rebels, but they followed their lead in the next game and jumped out on the number one team of Somerset to take a the win 12-5.
Unfortunately for our girls, the underdog trend continued into the championship game where they were overthrown by the least likely team to take home the championship trophy. As opposed to the two opening tournament games, though, Casey put up a solid fight for the title and only lost by one run and the game came down to the last out. Just one more hit and Casey could have easily scored to tie the game.
Seeing the tears from our players after accepting their runner-up trophy showed exactly where their hearts were in their post-season efforts. They believed and played as though they could win no matter what had happened in the regular season. The risky part about having that belief is that when you fall short of your goal it hurts that much more.
I will admit to have never expected the season these girls have had when it began back in March. The team saw only three wins last year and the first one did not happen until May. When they got a win four games into the season I should have known this team would be different. The past would not dictate who the Lady Rebels were this season or even from one game to the next. They proved that game after game. Sure, they saw their fair share of losses and games that they would quickly take a do-over if possible, but every team or athlete experiences that.
To the four seniors especially, be proud of what you helped your team accomplish in your final season. You have left what could easily be the beginning of the turning point in this program. You gave the leadership necessary to a team that could have gone through a season expecting very little of themselves. Instead you led them to accomplishing something not done in nearly a decade.
I also want to give credit to the coaches, although I know they both give all credit to their team. I have no doubt your belief in your girls never failed and was necessary in getting them over some of the mental hurdles after tough games.
Way to go Lady Rebels! You’ve given us a glimpse of what potential is in your future!

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