The long wait from last Saturday’s regional final win to Thursday’s first round game in the state softball tournament has finally arrived for the Paris Lady Eagles. And as thrilling and exciting as the regionals were for Paris, that is history, and the Lady Eagles must focus their attentions and energy on the Dover Lady Pirates in Thursday’s first round game. Paris and Dover will play their first round game in Ashdown on Thursday at 3 p.m. The winner will advance to Friday’s quarterfinal game.
For Paris fans, don’t pay any attention to tournament seedings. At this point, every team in the tournament is good and is very dangerous to the Lady Eagles’ hopes of winning a state championship. Every team has to be respected, and no team in the tournament can afford to look ahead to potential match-ups. And from this point forward, each game can be your last of the season. It is truly a matter of survival and advancing to the next round.
The first three rounds of the state tournament will be held in Ashdown with the finals being held next week at at different site. Paris must focus on Dover, and nothing else.
The Lady Eagles will again send senior Jadyn Hart to the circle for the big first round start. Hart has been an iron man all season, pitching virtually every game this season for Paris. She has had four days rest since her last start on Saturday, and she should be ready to go. Hart will also be counted on for her offense, and Paris fans are hoping to see the power she displayed in the regional final to continue in Ashdown. But the Lady Eagles have many players who contribute, and that is one reason why they have been so successful this year. No one player has to carry the load, as there are several in the lineup that can show up in any given game to have a big offensive night and carry the team to victory. Hart may be one of the three best pitchers in 3A this year, and she will be huge for the Lady Eagles this weekend.
Resident Press will be in Ashdown on Thursday to bring you all of the action from the state softball tournament. Updates will be published late each evening, and a final recap will be published Sunday night. Photos from the Lady Eagles’ games in Ashdown will be published on Tuesday, May 18. Look for these on Facebook at Paris Eagles Sports.
Last weekend’s regional tournament was full of memories that Paris fans and players will remember forever. But as sweet as that was, Paris will be out to create more memories that could be even sweeter. Last weekend is over, and now, it is time to focus on Thursday, and, as the old saying goes, take it one game at a time.
Travel safely, and I will see you at the ballpark!