• July 19, 2019

HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL: Permian, Odessa High meet with playoff seeding on the line - Odessa American: Sports

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HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL: Permian, Odessa High meet with playoff seeding on the line

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Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2019 5:16 pm

With the District 2-6A schedule reaching its conclusion, both the Odessa High and Permian softball teams are still looking for clarity.

One of those teams will get that as the programs meet in the regular-season finale at 7 tonight at the Ratliff Softball Complex.

The winner will clinch the district’s No. 2 seed for the Class 6A playoffs and have a bi-district matchup with El Paso Franklin next week. The loser will have to sort through potential tiebreakers to find out its fate.

Rivalry aside, both coaches are fully aware how significant the latest chapter of the crosstown showdown carries.

“We like our kids to know where they can be,” Permian head coach Kristin Williams said. “It gives our team a little bit of extra motivation. We know that if we win, we clinch second place and that’s where we want to be.”

“Our district is tough and everyone knows that,” Odessa High head coach Rachel Pena said. “For us to be able to win and take the second seed would be a great thing.”

Both teams could also see where they stand even before taking the field pending the outcomes of the Midland High-Wolfforth Frenship  and Midland Lee-Amarillo Tascosa contests Thursday..

The focus for both Permian and Odessa High, however, is on what they can control and that starts with the play on the field.

The Lady Panthers (19-10-2 overall, 5-4 district) are coming off victories against Midland High and Amarillo Tascosa. But even with the improved play recently, Permian knows it has to be better against its rival.

The Lady Panthers fell 9-4 to the Lady Bronchos (24-7, 5-4) on March 29 and know they have to work to do to create a different result.

“We need to back up our pitcher and hit better than what we did the last time we played (Odessa High),” Permian infielder Shadie Davis said. “If we do that, I think we should good.”

As for the Lady Bronchos, they are looking to bounce back following Tuesday’s 11-3 defeat to Frenship.

Even as things went off-script in that game, Pena is confident that her team can pull through and come up with a big win when they need it.

“When we’re locked in, I think we can beat anybody,” she said. “It shows especially when we play good defense and take a good approach at the plate.”

That attention to detail is what Pena wants to instill in her team before the first pitch. Even as the season winds down, the focus remains on taking care of business.  

“We just need to rise above what happened Tuesday and concentrate on winning this next game,” Odessa High pitcher Pearl Marquez said. “We just need to focus on our roles and execute like we need to.”

That execution will be put to the test in this game given what’s on the line and the fact that the game takes on more of a spotlight.

Still, confidence is high that both teams will be ready to take center stage.

“We know how good Odessa High’s pitchers are and we’re going to have to be able to dominate that,” Williams said. “Both teams are different this time around and we have to adjust to each other.”

“These games are always fun,” Pena said. “A lot of people come out to create a fun atmosphere and I’m looking forward to.

“It’s helpful that we’re the only game Friday. But it doesn’t change our approach. We still need to win.”

Odessa, TX

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