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Lady Flyers hope to get revenge in semis

By Julie Garcia
May 8, 2014 at 12:08 a.m.

St. Joseph pitcher Amanda Sohrt throws a pitch in an early season game. The Lady Flyers will play in the state semifinal game against Fort Bend Christian Friday at 7 p.m. in Waco.

TAPPS 4A STATE SOFTBALL

• St. Joseph (24-11) vs. Fort Bend Christian (23-13), 7 p.m.

• Midland Christian (31-13) vs. Waco Reicher Catholic School (27-1-2), 4 p.m.

•  Saturday, 4 p.m., Field 1

All games played at Waco ISD Fields

The Lady Flyers are well-acquainted with their state semifinal opponent, Fort Bend Christian.

The Lady Eagles (23-13) defeated St. Joseph in the semifinal game last year in Waco by one run. Fort Bend went on to win the TAPPS Class 4A state championship.

Friday, the Lady Flyers (24-11) will have a chance to settle the score.

In the final softball practice of the year, coach Craig Lauger said that the team is hungry.

"(The team) knows we want it for them as much as they want it for themselves," Lauger said.

After winning the state title in 2011, the Lady Flyers made it to the regional round the following year and the state tournament in 2013.

"Since we lost last year, we're ready to go there and win and bring the title back to Victoria," said senior Chloe Walther, who was a part of the 2011 state championship team as a freshman. "We're excited to have that chance."

St. Joseph watched the Lady Eagles on Monday when they defeated Corpus Christi Incarnate Word Academy, another TAPPS 3-4A team.

"They looked good, but we can do well if we give it everything we have and stay focused," Walther said.

Lady Flyers coach Rudy Diaz said the girls are mentally ready for the pressure.

"Even though they lost last year, that was one of the best defensive games I've ever seen," Diaz, who has been coaching St. Joseph softball for 10 years. "I have no doubt they can play at that level again."

Fort Bend has four pitchers on tap, including Lizzy Fox, who has signed to play softball at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Fox's sister, Rachel Fox, pitched at the University of Texas before transferring to Texas A&M as a junior this season.

"They're skilled ballplayers," Diaz said. "We know them and they know us."

St. Joseph will have junior Amanda Sohrt in the pitcher's circle.

In addition to pitching most of this season, Sohrt was the pitcher in last year's semifinal game against Fort Bend.

Sophomore fielder Hanna Novosad will also be ready to pitch if necessary.

Senior designated runner Ciara Schmidt has only one goal Friday and that's to leave it all out on the field.

"We want no regrets," Schmidt said. "We're the same team; we have the same love for the game, same passion to win and the same drive."

With a chance of severe weather in the area, there's a chance the semifinal game will be postponed.

In 2011, the Lady Flyers hunkered down on the bus for a few hours while a patch of thunderstorms worked through the area, Diaz said.

"We'll have to play it by ear," he said.

Though he's been at this point countless times, Diaz is nervous.

"But once that first pitch is in there, it's play ball," Diaz said.

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