For the first time in program history, the Permian softball team has a chance to advance to the regional semifinals.
Only one obstacle stands in its way — Abilene High (17-12).
The Lady Eagles have also been on a historic run after they swept Fort Worth Paschal and El Paso Coronado to land in the regional quarterfinals for the first time since 2004.
Game 1 is scheduled for 5 tonight, while Game 2 is slated for 1 p.m. Saturday. If necessary, Game 3 takes place 30 minutes after Game 2. All games are being played in Coahoma.
The Lady Panthers have had to fight their way into the third round with a pair of 2-games-to-1 series victories, with Game 2 being their ultimate struggle.
Regardless, the Lady Panthers have managed to find ways to rebound and get past El Paso Americas and Keller Timber Creek.
“The expectations are always to work hard in practice and do things to excel in practice that way we can prepare for Game 2, of course, that we’ve been struggling with,” Permian head coach Kristin Williams said. “Everything that we need comes in practice.
“I think that we know and expect our Game 2 where it has been the past two weeks. I think we’re not gonna have a problem this week because we know of it.
This is just the second appearance for the Lady Panthers in the regional quarterfinals. They made appearances in round three in 1999 and 2016.
Permian (31-3) has learned a lot from their past playoff experiences. This year they seemed poised.
“It means a lot. We haven’t made it since my sophomore year,” senior Brianna Dominguez said. “This year I feel good about it.
“I just feel like we learned how to be a team this year. We learned a lot from our past mistakes and now we know what to fix. Everybody’s pretty much doubted us.”
As a coach, Williams made an appearance in the state semifinals with Snyder in 2014 and 2015. She knows what it takes to reach the grand stage.
With two teams that are trying to make history, this series has the makings of possibly featuring three hard-fought games. Permian is preparing to go harder than it ever has.
“I think they obviously expect Abilene to go hard, and so we’ve got to go hard in two games and possibly three no matter what,” Williams said. “We’re always gonna prepare for three games.
“I’ve been to the state playoffs. I’ve been as a player and as a coach. I’ve never been to the state championship though. I’ve only been to the semifinals. I know what it takes to get there and how much preparation you need to work on in practice.”
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