COLLEGE STATION — For the Salado Lady Eagles, Saturday was the biggest game of their high school careers.
This was Game 2 of a best-of-three regional semifinal series against No. 5-ranked Woodville at Aggies Softball Stadium.
Salado had defeated Woodville 10-3 on Thursday and thus led the series 1-0.
So what were the members of the Salado Lady Eagles doing 20 minutes before this monumental Saturday afternoon contest began?
They were gathered in left field playing a game that looked like a combination of duck-duck-goose and patty-cake-patty-cake.
“It relaxed us,” Salado right fielder Kristen Oakes said with a laugh. “We just started it for this series. It did actually relax us.”
Well, expect to see it again on Thursday night at Waco Midway High School: Salado was victorious on Saturday, 3-0.
The No. 7-ranked Lady Eagles will now face No. 1 Crawford in a best-of-three regional championship series which begins Thursday at 7 p.m.
Game 2 is Friday at Midway and Game 3, if necessary, is Saturday, also at Midway.
“We know we have the potential to go to state,” said Salado cleanup hitter Shyenne Hicks. “We just have to play this game that we love so much as hard as we can.”
In Game 1 against Woodville, Hicks had a single, a double and three RBIs. On Saturday, Hicks dazzled the fans at Game 2 with some terrific glove-work at first base.
“Shyenne was phenomenal at first base,” Oakes said.
Salado’s infield pulled off two double plays on Saturday. Besides Hicks, third baseman CeCe Cantu, shortstop Malory Schattle and second baseman Meagan Hill were also terrific.
For the second consecutive contest, the Lady Eagles made no errors. Salado’s superstar senior pitcher, Morgan Hill, was grateful.
“I knew I had a great defense behind me and that helped relax me,” Hill said. “We had some amazing plays on defense. They did their job on defense — and so I was able to do my job as pitcher.”
Did she ever.
Hill blanked Woodville in a complete-game, two-hit, six-strikeout jewel.
“Morgan’s pitching was on-point,” Cantu said. “She was awesome.”
“Everything was working for Morgan,” said Salado catcher Jenna Calder. “She was in a zone and hit her spots right from the beginning.”
“Morgan kept them off-balance all series,” Oakes said. “She was great.”
So Salado fans can expect to see the team-unifying patty-cake-duck-duck-goose exercise before Game 1 begins on Thursday.
“We did that fun game just to relax us,” Morgan Hill said. “We weren’t underestimating or disrespecting our opponents; we just wanted to keep ourselves from getting too nervous.”
So, Morgan, how does the game actually work?
“Well, we stand in a circle, slap each others’ hands and sing a song,” Hill said with a hearty laugh. “And at the end of the song we yell ‘bing-bam-boom!’ We hit each others’ hands and if you miss, you’re out. If you hit the other person, then they’re out. The last one standing wins.”
And in two weeks, that’s exactly what the Salado Lady Eagles hope to be once the playoffs end — the last one standing.
Contact Allan Mandell at email@example.com or 254-501-7566â€‹ and read his blog at KDHPressbox.com