WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) -
The Burkburnett softball team has made it to the regional semifinal for the first time since 2013 when the Lady Bulldogs were in class 3A and advanced to the state tournament.
This is actually the first year that any players for Burkburnett have made it past the first round and the Lady Bulldogs say their experience has been a huge factor for their success.
“We are a year older than we were last year," Burkburnett head coach John Blair said. "I think we have two new kids on defense but everybody else is returning so that was a big part of it.”
“Being so experience is giving us a lot more confidence on the field and it’s helping us a lot," Burkburnett sophomore pitcher Jocelyn Bright said. "it’s helping us with the freshman too because we can teach them better.”
“Everybody is a little bit older," Burkburnett junior third baseman Kelsea Armstrong said. "We really do have an older team. There are some young ones, they are young but they step up.
"We’ve gotten closer together because we have played together so long and I really think that has helped us a lot.”
That experience has played a big role in the circle as junior pitcher Jocelyn Bright has excelled this season.
“I think it’s been huge," coach Blair said. "I was checking today and I think with the combination of strikeouts this weekend, she is over 300 this season and that’s big, that’s really big.
"I want to say she’s 21-6 and I don’t know how she would be able to but she’s definitely better than last year.”>
To go along with stellar pitching, the Lady Bulldogs defense has stepped up their game this season.
Since March first, Burk is conceding an average of only one and a half runs a game and that’s thanks to a huge drop in unearned runs.
Last year, the Lady Bulldogs gave up 45 runs because of errors but this year, only seven runs.
They say that brick wall of a defense is also helping their offense.
<"Knowing that even if I let a run come through or have a bad inning," starting pitcher Bright said. “Knowing that they are going to come back and help me out, gives me more confidence on the mound.”
<"We know in the back of our heads that we are a pretty strong offensive team and we have really grown in that," Armstrong said. “So knowing that we lost a point but we can come back and swing our bats and hit the ball and get more back, we won’t be down anymore.”
Burkburnett will face Andrews in regional semifinal starting Friday, 8 p.m. at Hermleigh.