Softball teams that are still alive at this time of the year do a number of things well. They have excellent arms on the mound and they play great defense.
The Gladstone softball team does both of those things extremely well. The Braves are back in the state semifinals once again, hungrier than ever. Gladstone has come close to winning a state championship the last couple of years, but they came up short each time. They hope to change that trend later this week.
After a five, one win over Muskegon Oakridge in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, the Braves were back in Gladstone this morning, getting one more practice in before they hit the road for East Lansing tomorrow. Coloma awaits Gladstone at Michigan State on Friday. The Braves have won seventeen straight games heading into their Division three semifinal against the Comets.
“The girls have a ton of momentum right now,” said Braves head coach Ashley Hughes. “I know that they wanted to get back there after last year’s loss in the quarterfinals. Now that they’re headed to Lansing, they’re excited to get to the state finals.”
“I feel like we are more comfortable going in not knowing much about a team,” said Braves pitcher Tinner Sharon. “We don’t stress about ‘this person can hit really good’ or ‘this person can field really good’ or ‘this person is weak.’ We just take them as a good team, as a whole.”
“We just stick together,” said Braves first baseman Jessica Beaudry. “We have a really tight defense and that helps a lot. When we have Tina (Sharon) on the mound, everyone is comfortable with her there.”
“I think we play a lot better when we have no idea what the other team has to offer,” said Gladstone center fielder Sadie Strasser. “I think we go in there strong. We go in there thinking that they’re a better team than us and that we’re the underdogs and we go in there for blood.”
Gladstone and Coloma have first pitch set for 10 am on Friday.