"For the most part, softball is softball and you've got to line up and play the game. But as far as strategy for this team, our focus has been to go with the pitch. Recognize what they're trying to do to you and go with it."
Based on his scouting, Tarver compared Liberty Hill to Kennedale in many ways, particularly in their pitching staff. Like the Lady Cats, Liberty Hill's pitchers have a dangerous riser and like to make opposing batters chase pitches outside. It's going to be an exercise of discipline at the plate for the Lady Rams' lineup.
Luckily, as they have in the previous two rounds, Tarver said his team benefitted from a solid week in practice. On Monday, the girls only hit, giving them the rest of the day to catchup on some much-needed rest and recuperation after a taxing series on hot turf against Glen Rose last weekend.
"One of the biggest concerns at this time of the year is players' health and energy level," Tarver said. "It's been a long season. We're working on five months. We had that long Saturday in Glen Rose and Monday even I was still feeling tired. That was a long, hard-fought series and it was still affecting them on Monday, so we just hit and went home. There were several 'Oh, thank yous.'"
Tarver followed Monday up with a practice stressing fundamentals on Tuesday before he ramped things up a bit Wednesday.
"We had the machines cranked up," he said. "I told them every ball was live, even in foul territory. It was about getting them out there and making them think. It was a good mental practice and very active. It was good to see them thinking and they had a good time with it."