Woden is sending its second girls athletic program to a state tournament this year. First, the Lady Eagles basketball team went to state and now the softball team is headed to a state tournament.
“It's surreal. It's just been a whirlwind looking back. It's like it just started and here we are. We're going to Austin,” said Woden head softball coach Kim Cox.
When Woden went to state in basketball, it pushed back their softball season but all is well now that they find themselves back in another state tournament this year.
“It's just really fun. It's a really cool experience that not a lot of people get to do. It's just awesome,” said Woden catcher Meagan Johnson.
“It's the greatest feeling and being able to achieve this is something I never thought would happen. With it all being in one year, it's just overwhelming,” said Woden pitcher Reese Taylor.
Taylor and Johnson are two of the five basketball players on the softball team who are headed to the state arena for a second time. After coming up short in basketball, they're looking to make it count this time around.
“I think that basketball left a bad taste in their mouth and they want to go back and win it,” said Cox. “I think all those things contributed to helping us prepare and go.”
“It's exciting to get to go but we’re striving for the ring,” said Taylor.
Rings are hard to come by, but it's something Coach Cox knows all about after winning state in 2013 with Garrison.
Cox said she has seen a similar burning desire to compete in this group, that has outscored their postseason opponents 87-34.
“They don't quit. When they get down I think they've been really good at trying to bond together and they've got each other’s back,” said Cox. “At any given time, any one of them can step up and get a big hit or make a great play. That's unique.”
“Coach Cox has left such a big impact on all of our lives because she’s shown us how to work hard, how to believe in ourselves and believe in each other,” said Taylor. “We're forever grateful for her and we're just excited that we get to give her the chance to go to state just like she's giving us the chance.”
Woden has the task of taking on the reigning back-to-back state champions, Shiner. It's a role the Lady Eagles feel they're ready to handle.
“They're trying for a three-peat and we want to be the ones that go in and try to be that team they weren't expecting to meet up with and take care of business,” said Cox.
“I feel like we can win state. We have enough power and bonding that we can pull together and win,” said Johnson.
Woden and Shiner will meet at the University of Texas. Their state semifinal game will be Wednesday at 9 a.m.
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