Northwood was in the same position last year — last Caddo Parish public school standing in the LHSAA softball playoffs with a second-round home game following a first-round road win.
Lady Falcons coach Greg Swearengin hopes it’s déjà vu at 2 p.m. on Saturday when sixth-seeded Neville visits the Lady Falcons’ softball complex. In 2012, Northwood hosted Lutcher, won, advanced to Sulphur and Swearengin used message T-shirts to motivate his team.
He purchased another set of motivational T-Shirts this spring with a different encrypted message.
“If we win on Saturday, I’ll tell you what it means,” he said with a chuckle.
The sixth-seeded Lady Tigers (18-9) will bring Megan Lively, one of the top pitchers in the state, to north Shreveport.
“She’s by far the hardest thrower we saw all year and she limits your opportunities to score –hence our 2-1 loss to them last time,” Swearengin said. “But our team was the team I’ve wanted to see for six weeks in our first playoff game. We were focused and played a complete game with our offense, defense and pitching. I think it will carry over.”
Other Saturday games have North Webster hosting Haynes Academy at 2 p.m., Calvary at Winnfield at 3 p.m., Loyola at Kaplan at 4 p.m. and Westminister at Cedar Creek at 2 p.m.
North Webster (25-5) will also need a solid game across the board to get past Haynes (20-8). The Lady Knights set their sights on Sulphur before the season began.
“I think we have been flying under the radar again this year, and most people don’t have a clue where we are located or where we play,” coach Tony Mullins said. “It will probably be the same after Saturday. Who knows? A trip to Sulphur and the state tournament may get us a little recognition.”
Calvary faces a solid road test at Winnfield (15-14), which advanced in the 2A playoffs with a 4-3 win against Delcambre in the opening round. The Lady Cavs (15-10) displayed a lot of offense in their opener, defeating Runnels 15-3.
“We know Winnfield is a tough team. They’re used to being at the state tournament and in playoff battles,” Calvary coach Tiffany Frazier said. “But if we continue to hit as we have been, and take care of the ordinary plays behind our pitcher, we expect a happy outcome.”
Loyola faces no easy task at highly regarded Kaplan (23-5) in its 4 p.m. matchup. The Lady Flyers (19-9) weren’t tested in their opening 9-2 win against St. Mary’s Academy, but the third-seeded Lady Pirates present a different challenge.
“I’ve told the girls the pressure is on (Kaplan),” Loyola coach Mike Spence said. “We believe the schedule we played has prepared us for a rough, second-round team.”