• October 25, 2014

Crabtree encourages team to mentally prepare for play

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Posted: Friday, April 11, 2014 4:30 am

After starting the season with a 17-2 record and climbing all the way to No. 4 in the Texas Girls Coaches Association’s Class 3A rankings, Lampasas hit a skid.

The Lady Badgers lost three of four District 8-3A games with the most recent defeat occurring at Gatesville, where the Lady Hornets scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to earn a 10-9 upset against then-No. 21 Lampasas.

On Tuesday, however, the Lady Badgers reversed their fortunes, using a seven-run first inning to propel them to a 12-0 victory against Llano, moving into a tie with No. 22 Brownwood for third place in the district standings.

Currently ranked 28th in the state, Lampasas (19-5, 4-3) holds a one-game edge over fourth-place Gatesville with three games remaining, including a home contest against No. 4 Liberty Hill, to secure a spot in the playoffs after missing the postseason last year.

Following the win against the Lady Yellow Jackets on Tuesday, Lampasas head coach Cassie Crabtree talked with the Herald’s Clay Whittington.

Obviously, your girls responded well to the loss at Gatesville. Was there any doubt they would bounce back?

Definitely, especially with a group that is so young. You kind of don’t know what to expect. Sometimes it is a good thing, and sometimes it is a bad thing, so you kind of don’t know.

But we’ve preached and preached how they are good, and they should know they can get the job done. We spent the last couple of days getting them mentally prepared and really talked about the mental game on yesterday and today. They definitely responded and responded well. They took our advice, and they were confident, and that’s what I told them. They looked like a whole new team, and that is what we like to see – learning from their mistakes. And they did. They came out and learned from every mistake they made on Friday.

We watched film yesterday on all our swings. Offensively, we did good on Friday. That is not what hurt us, but we left 22 runners on base or something like that, so that hurt us. But they made adjustments, learned from their mistakes and capitalized on them. That’s all we want as coaches, and they did it.

It has to be satisfying to stress a point and see them soak it up and follow through, right?

Yes, and that has been what we preached to them all year. Errors are OK, and they are going to happen with us being so young. Things are not always going to go the way we want them to go because we are so young, but at the end of the day, if you learn from them, then that is all we can ask. Then you are going to win and good things are going to happen. That is what they did, and I think since they see that, it is going to build on more confidence, and hopefully, it will end up being better for us in the end.

Moving forward, you only have three district games left. What are your feelings about the home stretch of the regular season?

We are on the road for two and home for one, and we go to a big game at Brownwood on Friday night. Last time we played Brownwood, it was a close one. It was a nail-biter, but on any given day, we can beat any team. Offensively, we are pretty tough at the plate — one through nine. That is the good part, and that is the fun part. We are ready, but we are going to continue to talk about the mental game and continue to talk about what we’ve got to do with Brownwood’s pitcher because she dominated us last time. But we will make adjustments, and we will make it happen. It is a big one, and next week will be big too.

Sounds like you are pretty confident about where the team is currently.

I am. We are as good as any team, and if we can battle and bear down, good things are going to happen for us. I truly think that. They work hard at practice, and they do the right things. At the end of the day, I think we are going to be just fine.

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