GUYTON — It's all gas and no brakes for South Effingham's softball team as it gears up for the Region 2-AAAAA playoffs.
The surging Lady Mustangs boast an 18-4 record and have enjoyed tremendous play from each athlete in the starting lineup.
“Every game it seems like there is someone different stepping up and all of them are contributing,” head coach Chuck Smith said. “Everything has been about the team. We have a good team.”
The Mustangs, 7-1 in 2-AAAAA, opened the season with a nine-game win streak before losing three games consecutively. The skid was a wake-up call that propelled the team to another nine-game win streak with victories over Harrison, Statesboro, Richmond Hill and Effingham County.
“Going to Atlanta, we’d been hot,” Smith said. “(The losses were) good timing. It was an eye-opener and we’d been coasting along and we were able to come back in and knew we still had a lot more work to do. We did not play well at all.
"(Region foe) Ware (County) beat us but we did not play well. We were looking at everything except what was right in front of our face. Now we are focused on what’s happening today and not tomorrow and taking care of what we can control today.”
Smith has won five region titles in his 10-year South Effingham tenure. While another region championship would keep the winning tradition alive, Smith has his eyes set on something bigger.
“I suppose I’ll be happy with it in that moment but then I’ll start looking ahead to state,” he said. “My expectation is to go beyond winning the region. We want to win it because that’s the game that is right in front of us.”
South Effingham will host Wayne County in a doubleheader Wednesday. The Lady Mustangs finished the regular season with two wins against the Yellow Jackets, scoring a combined 15 runs. But the recent triumphs against Wayne County don't necessarily mean that the Mustangs will have it easy.
“I don’t know if (playing them last week) helps or hurts,” Smith said. “I’m treating it like it’s a new week and a new team. We’re going to go through our practice and do what we need to do.”
Win or lose, the Mustangs are favored to hold a spot on the Class AAAAA bracket.
"We are looking forward to seeing what we are going to do and who we are going to match up with and going toward state,” Smith said.