The skills the Mariner softball team has meticulously developed over the season will be put to the test Friday during the start of the softball state tournament in Anchorage. Homer advanced to state after winning a close game against Soldotna May 27.
“It was a very good game,” Coach Bill Bell said. “The pitching was balanced, and the teams were balanced.”
Bell said the key factors that led to the close win were team cohesiveness, and “executing some small-ball basics at the right time, and having the advantage of the strong part of our batting order up at the right time.”
McKi Needham and Maggie LaRue were an effective pitcher-catcher duo, and the team had strong support from Mary Hanna Bowe and Malina Fellows who came to help on varsity after a nearly undefeated JV season.
After a great win in a close game, the girls now focus on state.
“I think that the team we are taking to state is stronger than any team we have fielded so far this year. Not only have the players’ skill levels increased but the players we have added from JV will fill in the gaps,” said Bell.
“I am hoping that we will catch (other teams) off guard and play the tight games we are capable of,” he said.
The first game will be at 1 p.m. Friday in Anchorage against the number 2 seed from Mid-Alaska and will be offered live for subscribed users on the team’s website marinersoftball.net.