During practice, Cross Creek softball coach Lisa White harped on the little things making the difference, such as angling yourself behind a fly ball to make a stronger throw and hitting the third baseman with a throw from the outfield.
With the Lady Razorbacks involved in six one-run games this season, it’s no wonder White wants her players to focus on the little things.
Cross Creek is 15-9, including 3-0 in Region 3B-AAAA. The Lady Razorbacks haven’t lost a regular-season region game since 2010. However, they have five one-run losses this year.
“It’s been so-so because of those one-run losses,” White said. “I teach my girls to focus and play good defense, and I hope they’re gelling at the right time.”
White hopes that time is now, as Cross Creek begins its region tournament Thursday. If the Lady Razorbacks finish as the No. 1 seed, then they will play Statesboro in the first round.
Cross Creek has seven seniors returning from a team that went 26-13 a year ago, including a trip to the Class AAA Elite 8.
“They know what it’s like,” White said. “The desire is to go further, take the next step. All 18 on the team play a major role, and we have a good group of players.”
MAKING STATEMENTS: Two local volleyball programs have raised eyebrows over the past couple weeks with upset wins and a state ranking.
North Augusta is 10-5 and 1-3 in Region 5-AAAA, but the Lady Yellow Jackets have proven a tough opponent both in and out of the region. After handing Greenbrier its only loss to this point on Sept. 12, North Augusta beat White Knoll 3-2 the next day. White Knoll is coming off a trip to the state semifinals in each of the past three years.
After six consecutive wins, North Augusta lost to Trinity Christian and South Aiken before bouncing back with a win over Grovetown on Wednesday.
An important region match with Aiken resulted in a loss on Thursday, but the Lady Jackets have several key region matches remaining, including a tough stretch over the first two weeks of October that features Lexington, White Knoll and Aiken.
Aiken coach Malynda Young took notice of North Augusta’s program, saying prior to their match that the Lady Jackets are not a team to overlook.
With two big wins for the program this month, the talent is there to knock off the usual contenders.
A.R. Johnson has continued to make major strides by sitting at 6-0 in Region 3-AA play. The Lady Panthers have allowed a region opponent to win just two sets in their six region matches and most recently beat Harlem 2-0 on Thursday.
A strong region record has pushed A.R. Johnson to seventh in the latest PrepCountry.com/GACA Coaches Poll for Class AA.