Making Up for Lost Time

Panther Softball, Baseball Headed to Play Offs

The 2019-2020 ball season got stopped short, pun intended, by 2020’s worst rival: Covid-19. But, with vaccines being distributed statewide and the CDC giving the nod for outdoor gatherings, the 2020-2021 season has been met with a resounding, “Play Ball!” And, The Panthers have done just that.

The varsity softball team ended the season with 6 wins in conference play, advancing them to BiDistrict this Friday, April 30, at 6 p.m. against the Gilmer Buckeyes at Bobcat Stadium in Hallsville. This playoff berth is the first post district play the Lady Panthers have seen in 6 years. Continuity has been key, according to some players. Coach Mayfield is currently in his second season with the Lady Panthers and the girls respond well to his leadership and dedication.

“I feel that Coach Mayfield has helped to turn the program around,” Adisyn Chism said. “He is tough but fair.”

With the threat of a surge in the virus following Spring Break travel, the girls had fingers crossed that the games would continue.  The swings were connecting and the energy was high, but hopes and expectations were skeptical.

“We are so excited to have this opportunity,” Junior Erin Gregson said. “With all the Covid protocols and guidelines we were worried it might not happen. It is an honor just to play the game we love (without a mask). Playoffs are a plus”

Seniors have a different perspective. Playoffs are pivotal.

“It is absolutely a dream come true to break into playoffs,” Senior Rachel Doss said. “Being on the team for the last three years, and ending the season without advancing was disappointing each year.  This is a great way to end my senior year.”

Doss, along with teammate Sam Schott, got additional accolades this month making the season even sweeter. Both Spring Hill seniors received $750 scholarships from the Tyler Lone Star Umpires Association for dedication and skill in the sport as well as upholding academic and character standards. The girls were two of the 15 chosen in the East Texas Area.

The Lady Panthers will head to Gilmer this Friday full of promise, looking to prove that diamonds are a girl’s best friend.