A short break from playing games gave the Brookstone softball team just what it needed, coach Nate McConnell said on Tuesday.
The girls regained their energy, got some rest and got hungry for more competition.
On Wednesday, the Lady Cougars (21-6) will return to the field as a 5-seed in the first round of the Class A private playoffs, hosting No. 12 Calvary Day.
“I was a little nervous going in about how they would respond to the break,” McConnell said. “Luckily for us, our girls have been up-tempo and stayed with it while we’ve been off. Now, they’re well-rested and ready to go.”
Never miss a local story.
It is the start of a new season for Brookstone, as it was for three other Bi-City area teams a week ago. Only one of those three, Harris County, survived, but the Lady Cougars believe they are in fine position to increase that total.
“It is a little bit of a struggle going into this first round,” McConnell said. “It’s going to be a little harder. With that said, we’re here for a reason, too. I think we’ve got a pretty good matchup.”
McConnell said he has compared schedules and gotten a limited scouting report of Calvary Day. His impression of the team is that it will be more of a small ball approach with quick runners and good run manufacturers. What that means for Brookstone is that it will need mistake-free defense to limit its opponent’s opportunities.
“Defense can win and lose games like this,” McConnell said.
Brookstone played a strong regular-season campaign, but the coach said all that is history. It is a new season and past victories or losses don’t matter.
“You have to have a good short-term memory of the past,” he said. “None of that matters anymore. Nobody cares about that stuff. Everybody is in the playoffs for a reason.”
The opening game of the series will be played at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Brookstone with Game 2 to follow 30 minutes after. Game 3 will be played at 1 p.m. Thursday if necessary.
Northgate at Harris County
The lone survivor of the opening round of the softball playoffs in the Bi-City area, Harris County will host Northgate in the second round with a trip to the state tournament on the line.
The Lady Tigers (24-7) are on an impressive roll right now. Dating back to Sept. 7, they are 17-1 in their last 18 games.
They will play at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, with Game 2 to follow at approximately 6:30 p.m. Game 3 will be played at 4:30 p.m. Thursday if necessary.
Follow David on Twitter @leprepsports or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ledgerenquirersports.