The Lady Panthers are set to host Midland Lee at 7 tonight at the Ratliff Softball Complex, while the Lady Bronchos open District 2-6A play against Midland High at 4 p.m. at the Audrey Gill Sports Complex.
Both teams are coming off solid performances in the inaugural ECISD Tournament on Saturday and both coaches feel their squads are prepared for the upcoming challenges that district plays presents on a game-by-game basis.
“I’m pretty happy that tournament play is through,” Odessa High coach Rachel Pena said. “We got a little banged up in El Paso, but I thought we got stronger this weekend at the ECISD Tournament and made it to the final against Midland Lee.
“Elva (Castillo) is pitching well and we hit the ball well, so I’m excited about getting district play started.”
Skylar Herrera, Cami Deanda, Castillo and Alizea Garza are the key offensive threats for the Lady Bronchos (14-3-1).
Permian coach Kristin Williams watched her team reach the final of its bracket, as well, and the Lady Panthers traveled east to the Metroplex to play Keller High and Aledo on Tuesday.
Williams, in her second year at the helm of the program, is looking for those experiences to help her young team mature more quickly as it hosts the Lady Rebels, one of five teams in the district that will be competing for four playoff spots.
“Lee is good, they’ve got some very good hitters,” Williams said. “It’s going to be us playing our game and taking advantage of any mistakes that they (Lee) makes for us to be successful.
“We’ve switched some things up and put some players back at spots they were familiar with and we had a really good practice tonight (Thursday).”
Senior right-hander Miranda Martinez has been rounding into form the past 10 days, recovering from a concussion suffered when the Lady Panthers (10-5-1) were in El Paso on opening weekend.
Martinez, a four-year starter varsity member, helped the Lady Panthers to the regional quarterfinals last season and Williams is looking to her, along with fellow senior Savannah Brooks, to control things from the circle.
“Miranda is getting stronger,” Williams said. “And it’s nice to have another strong pitcher with Savannah; she has pitched well for us this season.”
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