Every sports team must endure a flat time during their season, a period of three or four games when the hits don’t fall, the ball doesn’t bounce right and the calls never go their way.
Going into this year’s Azalea tournament, the 15-1 Berkeley Lady Stags were due to hit a low spot in what has otherwise been a stellar season.
After winning 9-0 against Cane Bay to open their bracket portion of the spring break tournament, Berkeley went flat in the four games that followed, losing 2-1 to Beaufort and Fort Mills, and 7-5 to perennial powerhouse Clover.
“We probably played some of our best softball of the year against Clover in coming back in that game, but we fell just a little bit short,”said Lady Stags Coach Boogie Grooms.
Grooms, who did not participate in last year’s Azalea tournament said, while the won-loss record could have been better, the experience for his team was invaluable.
“This is a new experience for many of these girls, their first taste of a playoff-like game environment,” he said. “We played teams that will be very much like the teams we’ll meet as we advance in the playoffs. The competition was great and while we were flat at times, we still hit the ball and made the plays.”
The Lady Stags will play for their second consecutive Region 8AAA championship this week, hitting the road against Stall and Orangeburg-Wilkinson before returning home to face Hilton Head for the region title.
“Last year’s championship was the school’s first since 2006,” Grooms said. “If we take the region title again this year, that feat will be a first for Berkeley Lady Stags softball.”
The 2014 Lady Stags field just three seniors in Lexi Samples, Kelston Hilton and Sidney Kizer and an eighth grader and a seventh grader.
These Lady Stags are young, but experienced.
“I think we’re standing on the edge of some very good things happening here at Berkeley,” the coach said.