Dodge will be a tough task for Chapel Hill. The Lady Indians finished the season as the No. 1 seed out of Region 3-AAA with an 8-0 record. They went 22-9-1 overall.
Dodge County is a solid, fundamentally sound team. They are led by pitcher Katie Selph, a control pitcher who has thrown every game this season.
“She works ahead in the count early, and then moves pitches off the plate to get you to chase,” said CHHS Head Coach Mick Harper. “We want to be aggressive early in the count and not give her a chance to make us start reaching.”
On the other end of the pitching tandem is senior catcher Blakelyn Bundick. Bundick is a wall behind the plate and compliments that play with a strong arm.
Backing up the pitching tandem is a solid defense, especially up the middle with shortstop Lauren Belflower, second baseman Hannah Moore, and centerfielder Claire Greer.
Similar to Southeast Bullock, who Chapel Hill beat in the first round of the state tourney in three games, the Lady Indians’ best defensive players are also their top hitters, led by Selph, Bundick, and Greer.
“[Those hitter] provide a little pop,” Harper said. “They don’t have any slap hitters and like to change their lineup around.”
Pitching wise, Harper believes that to win, Darby Demarest will just need to do what she has been doing all season long.
“The main thing will be to get ahead in the count early, and work the pitches in and out,” he added. “They are used to people trying to stay away from them and they hit the ball well to the opposite field. We don’t want to walk them but we don’t want to give in either.”
Harper believes the game will most likely come down to which team makes the fewest defensive mistakes. He added that his team will need to be strong up the middle with Kelsey Crook at second and Kayley Barker at shortstop.
“It is going to be a pretty quick paced game,” Harper said. “Neither pitcher is going to mow the other side down. Both teams will put the ball in play.”
As for having to travel, Harper is not worried about his team taking the long road trip past Macon, to Dodge County.
“The girls are looking forward to doing something that they do not normally do,” he said. “They are excited, and ready to play.
The first game is set to kick off at 4 p.m., with the second game of the double-header to follow around 6 p.m. The team plans to leave at 9 a.m. to get down to the field early and familiarize themselves with a place that Harper has never been to.
A third game will be played Thursday at 2 p.m. if needed.