South Effingham’s softball team has had almost a week to prepare for this weekend’s grueling tournament in metro Atlanta.
The Lady Mustangs will play a triple-header Friday and depending on the results will play more games Saturday.
“We are playing some very talented teams and that’s where you start if you want to be state champs,” SEHS coach Donnie Ussery said. “You have to beat the best. We’ve played with the best and we’re knocking on the door but the difference between one, two and three is beating the best.”
Friday’s games will be at Duluth High School, which is about 250 miles north of South Effingham's campus.
The action starts at 5:30 p.m. against Norcross, followed by games against Campbell and Duluth.
If the Lady Mustangs win those games then they will more than likely play perennial Class AAAAA powers Collins Hill, Woodstock and Kennesaw Mountain.
Since starting the season off with a 2-0 loss to arch-rival Effingham County last Friday, the Lady Mustangs have been practicing hard, working on their hitting, fielding and baserunning.
Though the Lady Mustangs had a difficult time moving runners over in the season-opening loss, the team hit the ball well, collecting eight hits.
To have success in the tournament this weekend, South’s one-two pitching punch of Allison Kirkland and Sally Faircloth has to be on top of their game.
Although Kirkland was charged with the loss against Effingham, she held the Lady Rebel batters in check for three innings after allowing two runs in the first inning.
In Faircloth’s three innings, no batter reached base. Faircloth frequently changes speeds on her pitches and constantly moves the ball.