By CLINT FOSTER
After staving off an emotionally charged Graham squad to capture their fourth consecutive bi-district championship, the Mineral Wells Lady Rams' postseason march continues with a best-of-three, second-round series against the Glen Rose Lady Tigers with the first game set for 7 p.m. today at Kessler Field.
The Lady Tigers were just who Mineral Wells was hoping to see. Much like Graham, head coach David Tarver has plenty of scouting information to pull from in preparation for the game after years of playing Glen Rose.
Most recently, the Lady Rams won their only meeting with the Lady Tigers this year, 4-1, in the finale of the Glen Rose Tournament, Feb. 22.
But just because the Lady Rams can feel best-prepared heading into their postseason series with Glen Rose doesn't necessarily mean two easy wins. Tarver said the Lady Tigers are a complete team that rarely make mistakes.
"Glen Rose hits very well," he said. "They're solid defensively and don't make many mistakes. They make all the routine plays. We're just going to have to be on top of our game, play our style and play upbeat. If we can play our style, play up tempo and make all the routine plays, I'm pretty confident [we will win]."
In their previous meeting, sophomore pitcher Kelsey Keeton was able to keep Glen Rose's bats in check for the most part, allowing just six hits and one unearned run in seven innings of work.
But perhaps the Lady Tigers' biggest strength is one the Lady Rams saw first-hand in their last game: their pitching.
With the exception of a four-run third inning that proved to be the difference in the game, Glen Rose shut out the Lady Rams in their first meeting. Much like Mineral Wells, Tarver said Glen Rose's pitchers rely mostly on placement and movement, rather than speed, to force opponents into ground balls and strikeouts.