Lady ‘Cats aim to snap streak
Cassville softball facing Monett in district quarterfinals
It has been so long since Cassville has beat Monett in softball that the Missouri State High School Athletics Association does not have it on record.
The Lady Cubs have dispatched the Lady Wildcats in 16 straight contests, and Cassville is hoping to change that today when the teams will meet for playoff action in Aurora at 5 p.m.
Lori Videmschek, Cassville softball coach, said her Lady Wildcats, who earned the No. 2 seed in the Class 3, District 4 Tournament, are amped up for a rematch with the No. 7 Lady Cubs after falling earlier this season, 8-6.
“We are excited we got that second seed, and I’ll tell you what, these kids are excited to play Monett,” she said. “When we played them earlier in the year, we had just played Marshfield the night before and that was probably our best game of the season. We were physically exhausted and did not play well against Monett. We felt flat pitching and defensively, so I hope this time we will be ready to go. It’s the district playoffs, so it’s do or die.”
Videmschek said to reverse the outcome and snap the streak, Cassville will have to play more composed than last time.
“We need to be a little better as far as discipline at the plate,” she said. “We were anxious to hit the ball in that game, so we have to make sure we aren’t getting out in front of it and rolling over. We have to adjust to let the ball deeper in the zone and get better hits.”
Defense will also be a key for the Lady Wildcats.
“We have been better defensively and cut down on errors, and we have to do a good job covering the bunt,” Videmschek said. “Monett is going to bunt quite a bit. They scored 3 runs on us in the first inning, on a single and bunts, when we played them the first time. So, we’ve got to make sure we cover that.”
Videmschek said Cassville’s pitching has greatly improved over the season, and the plate adjustments will be the biggest factor.
“It’s been difficult because we play good pitchers, then we play slower ones,” she said. “We’ll face a pitcher that throws 62 miles per hour, then the next day face one that throws 45 miles per hour down the middle every time.
“Mentally, we just have to be ready to play and have the will to win. We stress to the girls that we have to be competitive and want to win every game. This program hasn’t been used to that expectation in the past, but we are getting better.”