Coming into this season, White Hall head coach Terri Smith believed the Lady Bulldogs could make another run at a state championship but it would all depend on her team’s attitude.
“I knew we had the ability to get there,” Smith said. “As a team, we are good enough to get there as long as we believed in ourselves.
“We have a good group of girls and they are all very talented. I tell the ones that don’t start, ‘They could play anywhere else.’
“’When it is your turn, show me what you got.’”
According to Smith, White Hall had the ability to get back, if they stayed together and worked hard.
“They are talented enough,” Smith said.
The Lady Bulldogs (22-5) clinched their third straight state title appearance on Monday with a 5-2 win over Greene County Tech in the semifinals of the 5A state tournament at Dupree Park in Jacksonville.
“Actually it has been kind of surreal,” Smith said. “Really? We are getting to do this again.
“It is awesome. We can’t wait.”
White Hall will face Vilonia at 2 p.m. Friday at Bogle Park on the campus of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
“I’m blessed with a really good group of girls,” Smith said. “They are not just teammates. They are more like sisters.
“They are a real good group of girls and I have real good senior leadership. The seniors are the glue that hold the team together.”
Seniors for White Hall include Abby Weaver, Lindsey Williams, Madison Martin and Emily Law.
Weaver, a Southern Arkansas signee, finished Monday with four hits, including two home runs with three RBIs. This will be her third straight title appearance.
“They pick at each other but they get along,” Smith said of her entire team. “They work well together as a team. They are not out for individual achievements.
“… They are mature enough to see what we are trying to do, and they do their job as a whole.”
Smith said she saw a real change in her team after a 6-5 loss to Hope earlier this season.
“Once again, we finished 13-1 in the conference and Hope tends to wake us up every year, letting us know we can be beat,” Smith said. “It was almost the exact same score as last year. Each time it was one run.”
Smith said the loss lit a fire under the Lady Bulldogs.
“Nobody likes to lose,” Smith said. “But we are just trying to take it one game at time. We don’t look ahead. It’s that game, that day and that’s it.”