Lady Cats channeling inner cowgirl in playoff run

The Archer City softball team is finding motivation in a small sour candy

WICHITA FALLS, TX (TNN) - The Archer City softball team is on a roll.

The Lady Cats have only lost one game since the start of district play and that was to the co-district champ Windthorst.

The last time the Lady Cats played this well was two years when they went all the way to the state semifinals.

The one consistent thing between both teams is what motivates them and it’s as small as a sour candy.

“Just an incentive to get them to third base," Archer City head coach Mallory Mooney said. "If they get to third base, I give them a sour patch kid.”

“I love them, they get me hyped up," Archer City junior catch Lindy Reid said. "If I get a sour patch kid, that makes me want to go out there and get another one because I love sour patch kids, I love candy.”

And you better believe they will keep coach honest.

“If I forget, they will let me know," coach Mooney said. "‘Hey coach, you didn’t give me a sour patch kid. I got to third, I scored, I made a diving catch. Can I have a sour patch kid.’ Yes you can have one.”

The flavors of sour patch kids are sour then sweet, or up and down, just like the emotions during a one-game playoff series.

But the Lady Cats say part of their success in these back-to-back winner take all games is their ability to not get caught up in the emotions.

“We have really just gone out and tried to stay high," Archer City senior center fielder Sam Clements said. “Not go on that roller coaster of ups and downs. We have tried to go out with a bang.”

“It’s been crazy, all the games have been close except for one and it’s crazy to watch them help each other out," coach Mooney said. "Get together as a team. When one person does well, they really back them or when one person messes up, how they have their back.”

The best example of this teams fight was in the regional quarterfinal against Haskell, giving up the lead late but finding a way to pull out the win.

“We struggled in that seventh inning and gave up two home runs. The team told Victoria (Rater) ’Hey don’t worry about it, we have the last at bat. We will do it for you,' so it’s just our team and our chemistry," head coach Mooney said.

And that chemistry is huge on this team.

During practices the Lady Cats wear cowboy hats and that’s part of their Cowgirl theme which started in the off season and is a way to keep it loose on the field.

“During off season we set up barrels and we pretending like we were barrel racing but we were just running around the barrel," coach Mooney said. "So bring them on home is if there is a runner on base, we tell the batter to bring it on home so that is kind of our theme.”

“You know yee-yee all the day, it keeps a smile on our face," senior Clements said.

Archer City will face Floydada in the I-2A regional semifinal starting Thursday at Abilene Christian.

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