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Both the Aledo Ladycats softball team and Bearcats baseball team will continue Class 4A, Region I playoff action on Thursday.
The Ladycats and Guyer will square off in a best-of-3 regional quarterfinals series that begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at L.D. Bell High School. Game two will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday at L.D. Bell, with game three, if necessary, to be played at 2 p.m. Saturday at L.D. Bell.
The Bearcats have yet to allow a run in the playoffs and will face Wichita Falls High School in a best-of-3 area playoff series.
Game one will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Hoskins Field in Wichita Falls, with game two set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Aledo High School baseball field. Game three, if necessary, will be played at 3 p.m. Saturday at Mineral Wells High School.
Ladycats head coach Jeff Lemons expects a close series between two good teams.
“Guyer is solid all around,” he said “They are well coached by Keith Medford, a coach I really respect, and he does a good job with them. They have a good pitcher (Shayne Starkey) and they play good defense.
“Offensively, they have speed and power, and they can hurt you if you make a mistake. We have played solid defense all year, and we will have to continue to do so to win this series.”
The Ladycats and Guyer have a recent history. Guyer took a tournament game from the Ladycats last year, but in the second round of the playoffs in 2013 Aledo swept Guyer, 2-0, 5-4.
“We are going to have to put the ball in play and be smart on the base paths,” Lemons said. “We have to take advantage of them if they do make a mistake.”
The winner of the series will play the winner of the regional quarterfinal series between Wolfforth Frenship and Canyon Randall.
Bearcats head coach Chad Berry feels his pitching staff will have a challenge against Wichita Falls, the champion out of District 5-4A.
“Old High has good pitching, good hitting, and they do a good job of executing their small ball,” he said. “They can score by hitting or manufacturing runs. They have a pretty solid batting order from top to bottom.”
Barry feels his staff can handle the Coyotes.
“We have had a really deep pitching staff this season,” he said. “Our pitchers have really been our strong point all season long. They do an exceptional job of keeping us in positions to win a lot of games.
“I was really pleased with both pitchers (Chris Reed, Taco Anderson) who pitched in the last series. I thought Chris pitched well, but is capable of being better than he was last Thursday (May 1 in a 6-0 win over Crowley). He came out a little wild, but settled in as the game went on, and seemed to become stronger throughout the night.
“(On May 2) Taco had a really nice outing. He seemed to have good command of his off-speed pitches as well as being able to locate his fastball. That was really nice to see.
“We hit the ball really well last series, and will need to continue to do so to continue having success in the playoffs.
“I was really pleased with how we didn't seem to give away many at bats. I know we had a couple of two out extra base hits, followed up by a single to drive in a run with two outs. Those things are important in the playoffs.
“Runs will become harder to score series by series, and so you have got to take full advantage and get the timely hits when you have runners in scoring position. I was really pleased with our approach at the plate overall as a team. This next series will be much tougher than the last. Should be two good pitching staffs going at it.”
The winner of the series will play the winner of the area series between Birdville and Burleson Centennial.