Raiders prepped for Lions
No. 2 seed Mesa-Red Mountain brings a level of competition that the Cibola Raiders have yet to face this year.
They're fast, they pitch at high speeds and they can hit the ball well. With all things considered, Raiders coach Shelly Baumann just needs her team to do one thing: stay calm.
“They're ranked two in the state but to me they're No. 1,” Baumann said. “We've got a big hill to climb, but we're going to give it our all and fight until the end.”
Cibola enters today's game against Red Mountain as the No. 7 seed, advancing to the third round in which the tournament switches to a double-elimination format. The first pitch is slated for 7:30 p.m. at Rose Mofford Sports Complex in Phoenix.
The Raiders, who won 1-0 at home against Buena on Tuesday, know they are facing a very talented team but are driven by the will to win.
This certainly isn't their first playoff appearance and they are looking to continue their run through the winner's bracket with an upset over the Mountain Lions.
“This is a great group of kids who have a lot of heart,” Baumann said. “They work hard, they rely on each other and the chemistry is awesome this year. ... It's not always the most talented team that comes out on top, it's who wants it more. It seems like that's been our motto for all these years.”
Baumann is looking for her team to go out and do their jobs and take care of business at the plate. If they can do that, fate will take care of the rest.
“They're (Red Mountain) going to put the ball in play,” Baumann said. “They have a lot of slappers and a lot of speed so we just have to make the routine plays, get the outs we can and just battle at the plate.”