Victoria Advocate: Hallettsville state tournament appearance delayed

Posted: May 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

HALLETTSVILLE – Going through hitting drills with music blaring from car speakers is how the Hallettsville softball team spent the first day of at least a two-week hiatus from the start of the playoffs.

The Lady Brahmas are the second seed out of District 26-2A after losing 4-1 on Tuesday against East Bernard (31-2) for the top seed.

They were set for a Class 2A bi-district match up against Salado (15-7) on Friday. That’s been pushed back now, along with all other U.I.L. events due to the swine flu outbreak.

“We have always been a team that stays loose during practice and leading up to games,” Hallettsville catcher Emilie Jansky said. “Hopefully, we can stay that way while we wait to play. I don’t really like that we aren’t going to play, but we’ll be all right.

Hallettsville (22-7) is making its 13th consecutive trip to the postseason. The Lady Brahmas advanced to area last season where they were eliminated by Rosebud-Lott.

“We will probably take a day or two off during that time, but we are going to be practicing like normal to stay sharp most of the time,” Hallettsville head coach Mike Mikeska said of his plans for dealing with games being suspended until at least May 11. “It may be a little difficult because our routine is going to be broken, but every team is going through the same thing. We just have to keeping working hard.”

The Lady Brahmas are not strangers to adjusting. The team was without three starters who played basketball and did not join the team until two weeks after the season started because of their run in the playoffs.

Those players immediately came to the softball field after being eliminated from the basketball playoffs and have experience of not being in the typical softball routine.

“We know we can’t lose the passion for the game or lose focus,” said Hallettsville senior Callie Herrington, who was on the basketball team and has signed to play college softball with Centenary College. “We have to keep building even during this period without any games. We are playing really well with our defense really doing great.”

Haley Leopold leads the team with a .490 batting average, while Timisha North is hitting .417. Pitching-wise, twin sisters Lauren and Lindsey Steffek lead the team in wins with eight and seven respectively. Cherise Klekar tops the team with 63 strikeouts, giving the Lady Brahmas a three-pitcher rotation to go along with a team batting average that is over .300.

“Our strength is that we are a complete team,” said Leopold, who has signed with Western Texas College to play softball. “We are really solid on defense and pitching and we’ve been hitting.”

The Lady Brahmas do not know when or where they will play Salado, but feel like they’re peaking at the right time.

“We have three great pitchers who I won’t hesitate to turn to and I’ll stack our hitting up against anybody,” Mikeska said. “We’re all feeling really good about where we are at.”

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