The Lady Blue Devils (21-6) have enjoyed a couple of stints ranked in the top 10 during the fall and have stayed steady with back-to-back seasons of 20-plus wins. This year's team is led by a group of strong seniors with plenty of contributions from the underclassmen as it heads into the second round of the Class AA Tournament.
During coach Amy Pointer's eight years in charge of the Lady Blue Devils — where she won a state championship her senior year — she has never taken her squad to the eight-team, championship portion of the tournament in Columbus. That could change this week.
"We really have our hopes of making it through this next round and making it to Columbus. We've not been to Columbus since I've been here, that's been eight years, it would be tremendous to make it in our first year in double-A. It would be great to go back," Pointer said. "It would be awesome to share that experience with this group of kids. They are the best group I've ever coached. Good kids, wonderful abilities, lots of talent and very determined right now."
Standing in Bremen's way is a tall order, though. The Lady Blue Devils will make the trip to Calhoun to face the second-ranked team in the state in a 5 p.m. doubleheader today. The Lady Yellow Jackets (24-10) eased through their region without a loss and haven't suffered a setback since mid-September, a 3-2 defeat against Class AAA No. 1 Buford.
"We know what Calhoun's got and we know what we're up against. We know we're going to have to play the best ball we've played all season, but you have to in postseason. That's what you train all year to do. We've had kids hurt this season, we've had to readjust our way of thinking and realize there is no tomorrow," Pointer said. "Right now, they're in a good frame of mind. They know what they have to do and we have been working at practice like crazy."
Ideally, a team would like to play the important games of the season at home. Playing on the road doesn't really bother Pointer and she doesn't expect her team to suffer any from the trip.
"Right now, I feel good. I know they're going to give me a good performance and that's all that I've asked them to do — play to the best of their ability. If they play to the best of their ability, then win or lose that's what I'm asking. They've done their job. I know they're going to compete well," Pointer said. "A field is a field, that's not going to change. Home-field advantage, I like having that. But it doesn't, to me, make a difference."
In fact, if it all goes right, the trip can be pretty fun.
"The way I look at it is we get good quality time on the way there and even more fun on the way back," Pointer said.