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Fresh off a first-round sweep of Eupora, the East Webster softball team returns to Class 2A playoff action today in the opening game of a second-round series against Mantachie.
Having already ousted the rival Eagles from the postseason last weekend, Wolverines head coach Meleah Brown says her club is entering today's matchup against the Mustangs with high spirits.
"The girls have a great attitude," said Brown. "I think they are ready."
East Webster's confidence and excitement is based around a number of factors, not the least of which being that everyone's daily routine is finally somewhat returning to normal after last week's storms that battered Cumberland.
With their school unusable since last Wednesday due to damage, students returned to classes on Tuesday at Wood College in Mathiston, where East Webster will finish out this school year.
"They're all pretty excited about being at Wood Junior College," said Brown. "It's like a new school for them."
Classes aren't the only activities that have found a new home.
After playing their first-round home game in Houston last Friday, Brown and the Wolverines will ironically host today's matchup in Eupora at 6 p.m.
Brown said the Houston location was again an option for East Webster, but with the Hilltoppers in the playoffs as well, it was decided that Eupora provided the best situation.
"If we were to use Houston's field, it would be late before we could even start practices," said Brown. "If we're going to be the home team, I'd like to play the game where we practice. I didn't want to practice at Eupora everyday and then play in Houston. We just felt Eupora was more convenient."
Regardless of where the games were played, Brown simply hopes her team can replicate its first-round success.
In the 2-0 series win over the Eagles, the Wolverines outscored their county rival 8-1 over the two games.
"We executed," said Brown. "When we got runners on base, we moved them over and when we got runners in scoring position, we got them in. Everybody contributed something to the game. That's different now from what we saw earlier in the season. The bottom of the lineup is starting to step up."
Brown knows that total-team production will be needed again for the Wolverines to advance to the third-round.
"Basically, I think Mantachie is going to be a lot like Eupora was," said Brown. "Everybody I've talked to said they had a good defense. Their pitcher isn't overpowering, but she's good. They've got some speed, too."
After tonight's game, the second game of the best-of-three series will be played at 11 a.m. Saturday in Mantachie with a possible third game to follow if needed.