It’s one big game after another for Keller as the Lady Indians try to stave off the competition nipping at their heels in District 5-6A softball. Keller stood at 9-1 in district play headed into a challenging week.
The Lady Indians were able to play one of their most complete games last Friday as they disposed of Byron Nelson, 13-4.
But there’s no rest for the weary, as Keller was to take on Timber Creek in its early week game and then will be hosting Denton Ryan on Friday.
Timber Creek was just at the Ryan diamond as it beat the Lady Raiders, 6-3.
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The Lady Falcons boosted their district mark to 8-2 and sit just behind Keller in second place.
That game played on Tuesday would obviously help shape the district race.
Keller won the first meeting, 5-1, against Timber Creek at the Lady Indians’ home field on St. Patrick’s Day.
Whether Keller can continue to build on its new-found confidence remains to be seen.
The turnaround came at the tournament in College Station prior to the start of the district schedule. The Lady Indians had taken some lumps from teams such as Austin Bowie and Kingwood.
“We had lost some confidence when we played some tough teams,” Keller head coach Bryan Poehler said. “After the Kingwood game, our confidence was a little shot. Now we take one game at a time and take it one inning at a time. If you win enough innings, you start winning games.”
After that trip, the confidence returned, and Poehler said the team knew it could go out and accomplish good things. The confidence started to return in the first matchup with Denton Ryan.
“With us, the first game with Ryan was a big game for us,” Poehler said. “We had a horrible inning and gave up five runs. But we scratched back and scratched back with a home run to tie it in the seventh. It was the first glimpse of what we can accomplish.” The Lady Indians won the game 7-6.
That confidence showed again last week.
“I guess I was impressed with the way we played, against a fantastic pitcher (Nelson’s Edie Fairchild), and for us to come out and hit the ball the way we did,” said Poehler about the game with the Lady Bobcats on Friday.
With a freshman new to the lineup, Poehler was also excited about the play of Hanna Jones.
“For the second game in a row, she’s hit a home run,” he said of Jones. “She’s on fire.”
His hot-hitting freshman wasn’t the only highlight.
“Our pitcher came out and with the way she pitched and how we played defense the way we did, we just executed like we have the ability to do,” Poehler added. “Everything fell into place.”
The pitching is coming from Keller’s Kaylee Rogers, who has registered 53 strikeouts. But Brittany Larkin is a solid number two for Keller. And the depth goes beyond pitching.
Poehler said the key to this year’s success has been the ability for another player to step up when someone isn’t playing at her peak.
“Every time someone slips, someone is there to pick them up,” he said.
Timber Creek is tied with Guyer but has the upper hand due to a previous win over the Lady Wildcats.
Timber Creek will be at Northwest on Friday before hosting Guyer for their second game on Tuesday.
Fossil Ridge was taking on Ryan and then will host Central on Friday.
Central had Guyer before the Ridge contest this week.