HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL: Monahans turns to fighting spirit ahead of regional semifinal matchup

The Monahans softball team doesn’t give up.

Even as obstacles cropped up during District 2-4A play and the postseason, the Lady Loboes know how to stay in the fight.

Head coach Lindsie Swarb feels that is what separates her team from the others that have faced Argyle, their upcoming foe in the Class 4A Regional semifinals.

The best-of-three series, at Abilene Cooper High School, begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday, with Game 2 set for 1 p.m. Saturday. Game 3, if necessary, would follow 30 minutes after Game 2.

Argyle, through the first three rounds, has scored 58 runs while allowing just four as the Eagles have cruised through their past two opponents, Burkburnett and Vernon.

Swarb said her team will need to focus on being disciplined at the plate to make something happen against the Eagles’ defense.

“Don’t try to do anything crazy, just look for those base hits,” Swarb said. “We’re not trying to play hero ball, not trying to kill it.”

Swarb wants the Lady Loboes to get runners on base and do what they have to do to advance those runners.

Monahans has already made some noise in this year’s playoffs, pulling off some close victories against Canyon and Sweetwater.

The team set the tone in its series against Canyon with a comeback walk-off win, then came back to take its series against Sweetwater in the next round with two consecutive wins.

The Lady Loboes’ close bond has been the driving force behind its late season surge.

Monahans didn’t have the regular season it wanted, closing out district play with a 6-4 record.

A 13-4 win against Andrews heading into postseason play was the turning point for the Lady Loboes’ campaign.

“We struggled in district a little bit and I think they realized, that’s not who we are,” Swarb said. “These girls are fighters and they don’t accept giving up.

“They are just going to fight, they are going to play with heart and dig down deep.”

Over the season, all five of Monahans’ seniors have stepped up to take leadership roles for the team.

They have been vocal through the team’s playoff run, helping the 10 underclassmen gain confidence with each game.

Monahans will enter the series against Argyle after a 7-6 win against Sweetwater last Friday.

The Lady Loboes led by a 6-3 score until the top of the seventh inning, when Sweetwater scored three runs to tie it up late.

An RBI single from Jazzy Garcia in the bottom of the inning sealed Monahans’ series-clinching victory.

Last year was supposed to be Swarb’s first leading the softball team as head coach, until the season was cut short due to COVID-19.

This season is serving as her first official full season at the helm and she is learning to take lessons from wins and losses.

Swarb credits her assistant coaches for the work they have done with the team throughout the 2021 campaign.

“I’ve got two great assistants that have knowledge of the game, we’re constantly talking and feeding off each other and bouncing ideas,” Swarb said. “They are a huge part of this program and an asset to me.”

The head coach has emphasized finding positives in every situation, regardless if it is good or bad.

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