Lady Wildcats face rival on Thursday

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Cassville seeks to unseat conference favorite

A trip to Monett on Thursday signals the beginning of Big 8 Conference play for the Cassville softball team.

The Lady Wildcats (3-2) have had the date with Monett (4-1) circled on their calendars for quite some time.

"They are, until someone beats them, the favorite to win the conference," said Shawn Johnson, Cassville coach. "I know that our girls have the confidence that we can go there and win the game against Monett. But it is more than that that, we believe that we can be the team to beat them."

The Lady Wildcats have become more emboldened with a string of wins to start the season, including a perfect game from pitcher Josie Lone against Parkview on Aug. 23.

"Josie is a special player," Johnson said. "She had struggled the night before with the strike zone and told me her arm was sore. I asked her to settle down and not focus on velocity, but more on location. She responded with a perfect game, and that was amazing."

Through the first four games of the season, the Lady Wildcats are hitting .436 at the plate with 24 extra base hits.

Lone has an ERA of 3.50 as Cassville seeks to rise to the top of the conference standings.

"I just want to see us keep playing at a high level," Johnson said. "We still have a long way to go in this season, and as long as we continue to progress, I'll be happy."

First pitch at North Park in Monett is set for 5 p.m.

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