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Examiner
  • Pats, Jags eager for rematch

  • The Truman softball team wasn’t necessarily overlooking Blue Springs South when the teams closed out the regular season a couple weeks ago.

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  • The Truman softball team wasn’t necessarily overlooking Blue Springs South when the teams closed out the regular season a couple weeks ago.
    But the Patriots (28-3) will likely be extra cautious with the Jaguars in today’s Class 4 state quarterfinal.
    South stunned Truman and ace pitcher Paige Parker 3-1 on Sept. 27. At noon today, the Pats get a rematch at Adair Park. A win, and Truman makes its third final four trip in the last three years. But the Pats know that’s far from a given after what happened last time.
    “When you’re 27-3, sometimes that stuff happens,” said Truman coach Amy Temples. “Blue Springs South put pressure on us that night, but the key thing was the way we bounced back from that.”
    After getting a rare taste of adversity, the Patriots recovered with a 14-4 victory over Winnetonka in the district semifinals and then clipped Kearney 1-0 in the title game. On Wednesday, Truman snagged a sectional crown by bouncing Platte County 5-1.
    “Our kids could have folded, they could have hung their heads,” Temples said. “But we didn’t. We bounced right back. I think we’re right back in it.”
    Of course, that regular-season upset launched the Jags (19-13) on a surge of their own. After an inconsistent season, South has rattled off wins in five of its last six games to roll to the fourth playoff appearance in school history.
    That run includes a comeback triumph over Lee’s Summit North, a win over Suburban Big Six champion Lee’s Summit and a win over rival Blue Springs in the district and another come-from-behind victory over Raymore-Peculiar to secure a quarterfinal berth.
    “We just have a will to win, it seems like” said senior pitcher Michaela Tolliver, who hit a home run and earned the 7-4 win over Ray-Pec. “We just lay it all down and hope for the best, and it’s working out for us. ... We have showed that we are going to keep fighting until it’s over. It’s just amazing; it’s surreal.”
    First-year coach Kristi Williams admitted after her team’s district win over Blue Springs that this wasn’t what she expected in her first season. But now she finds herself just a win away from leading the squad to its first final four appearance.
    “We just need to keep those bats going,” said Williams, whose team is averaging 6.5 runs per game in the postseason. “Our offense has really carried us this postseason. ... These girls believe in what they’re doing and how they’re playing, and they’ll have tremendous confidence going in against whoever we play.”
     

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