MALE LADY BULLDOGS
* Record: 33-7.
* Coach: Josh Bloomer (third season, 89-34-1 record).
* State ranking: No. 4.
* State titles: None.
* Last trip to State: 2014 (went 3-2, finishing in third place).
* 26th District score: Beat Assumption 8-5 in final.
* Seventh Region Tournament scores: Beat Atherton 15-0 in quarterfinals, Christian Academy 2-0 in semifinals and Assumption 5-2 in final.
* Probable batting order: Taylor Childress (Jr., CF, .441 batting average, 28 runs, 17 stolen bases); Alyssa Case (Fr., 2B, .458, 14 runs, 23 RBIs); Amanda McIver (Sr., 1B, .411, 4 home runs, 35 RBIs); Olivia Suski (So., 3B/P, .359, 9 HRs, 30 RBIs); Dani Walls (So., C, .367, 3 HRs, 18 RBIs); Madison Mudd (Sr., SS, .291, 4 HRs, 25 RBIs, 26 runs); Kennedy Bishop (Sr., DP/3B, .270, 9 runs, 9 RBIs); Hannah Poynter (Sr., P, .321, 2 HRs, 19 RBIs); Alexis Betts (So., LF, .307, 21 runs, 10 SBs); Keri Hammond (Sr., RF, .280, 8 runs).
* Top pitchers: Olivia Suski (So., 17-5 record, 2.12 ERA, 118 strikeouts in 122 innings); Hannah Poynter (Sr., 15-2, 2.55, 83 Ks in 110 innings).
* Notes: Male is in the State Tournament for the third straight season, having gone 0-2 in 2013 and finishing third last year. … Mudd has signed with Campbellsville, and McIver has signed with Lindsey Wilson. … While Suski was expected to be the ace of the pitching staff this season, Bloomer said the development of Poynter in the circle has been a big key to the squad’s success. “She really, really worked over the summer to make herself better,” Bloomer said.
* First-round game: Male will face No. 2-ranked Madisonville-North Hopkins (35-5) at 6 p.m. EDT Thursday. The Lady Maroons hit a state-record 63 home runs this season and boast a .400 team batting average. Madisonville-North Hopkins beat Male 3-1 on May 8 in Bowling Green, Ky.
* Coach speak: “These girls don’t ever believe they’re going to lose,” Bloomer said. “They always believe they’ll find a way to pull out a victory. That really makes it fun to coach.”