Pea Ridge Softball Primed For Run In 4A Playoffs

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PEA RIDGE (KFSM)--The fall season was a success with the Blackhawk football team falling to Warren in the state finals. Same can be said about the winter as Trent Loyd and the basketball team lost to Baptist Prep in the championship game. Even with the pressure to succeed, all spring sports at Pea Ridge have not disappointed.

John King and the baseball team won a district title and grabbed a spot in the state tournament. Josh Reynolds has coached the softball team to a 27-4 record that earned the Lady Hawks the second seed from the North regional.

"The message that we give to the kids right before we take infield and outfield, and that is have fun. It's a game and that's the way it should be approached and have fun with what you're doing," said Reynolds.

Last time Pea Ridge made it this far into the postseason, the majority of the team's seniors were just freshmen.

"I remember it was very nerve racking, because if you lose one game you're out. So I think that having the experience of already going through that gives you more confidence," said senior catcher Sara Whatley.

Reynolds added, "It was a great learning experience, especially as we're a senior laden team. A lot of these girls have played since they were freshmen or sophomores."

Pea Ridge faces two-time defending 4A state champion Mena in the first round. But it's that kind of test that has driven the Blackhawks athletic program as a whole to new levels in 2016-17.

"We're making history this year and it's great to do it our senior year cause it's the moment for everything to happen," senior outfielder Kieara Bryant said.

"It only pushes our team to make us better cause two teams have already made it to the state finals and I think it just motivates us," Whatley said.

"The town's excited, the town shows up no matter where we go. No matter what sport it is our community is gonna rally around us and support us," Reynolds said.

The state tournament is in Lonoke from Thursday to Saturday, with the championship games taking place next weekend at Bogle Park in Fayetteville. You can find brackets and full results here.