COPPERAS COVE — After facing Mansfield Timberview in the bi-district round of the Class 5A softball playoffs last year, Copperas Cove knows what to expect from the Lady Wolves when it opens the 2014 playoffs on Friday.
But the Lady Bulldawgs believe Timberview will be facing a very different Cove team from the one it swept in the first round of the playoffs last year.
“I think we feel a lot more confident this year because we really have come together as a team,” Cove’s Autumn Hughes said Friday. “And we’re more confident that we can get farther in the playoffs than last year.”
When Cove opens its best-of-three series against Timberview at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Waco ISD Sports Complex, the Lady Bulldawgs will be coming off an 18-2 run-rule victory against Harker Heights in their regular season finale.
Cove had 16 hits as a team in less than four innings against Heights, continuing what head coach Bryan Waller said has been a steady improvement throughout league play.
For Waller it isn’t hard to see why the Lady Bulldawgs are playing better now than they were this time last year.
“They’ve made a commitment to working hard. They’re taking extra reps. They’re doing extra things in practice,” Waller said. “And most of all, their mindset, their mental focus, is totally a 180 from where it was last year.”
Cove hopes that will translate to better success against the Lady Wolves, who once again enter the playoffs as the district champions of 7-5A.
And while the memories of last year’s sweep are still fresh for Cove, the Lady Bulldawgs believe they have what it takes to create a different memory this year.
“They lost in two last year, but this group is very well jelled together as a unit,” Waller said. “They don’t care who gets the glory. They’re very unselfish. They work hard together. They pull for each other. They cheer for each other.
“And I think this team is a very strong group that’s going to give Timberview a good battle. Our goal is to go in and win.”