Harlem, Ga. (WJBF Sports) — This Thursday, the Harlem Lady Bulldogs will make their fourth Elite 8 appearance in the past five seasons in Columbus, Ga.
In his 10th season now, coach Mike Leverett has helped turn Harlem softball into a perennial state title contender, but he and a couple seniors believe this team might have the best chance to win it all, and it starts with the Bulldogs’ hitting.
“This is probably the best [offense] we’ve ever had,” Leverett said. “Last year, we expected two people to hit, but this year everybody is getting a piece of the pie, so that is great.”
Seniors Cassie Blizzard and Lexi Mays have experience playing in the state tournament in Columbus the past few seasons, and they also feel good about their chances this year.
“This year is different,” Mays said. “We hit throughout the lineup. It’s not just the core — the 3 and 4 are [not just] the biggest hitters this year — it’s that everybody hits. From one to the 9th batter. It’s everybody. So I think we feed off each other and keep each other up. We just have the opportunity to go big this year.”
“I think this is the best year,” Blizzard said in reference to her four years at Harlem. “We’ve been prepared to go back, and I just feel like we have a really good chance this year.”
The Lady Bulldogs will get their shot, starting Thursday night at 6 p.m. against Dade County.
One other local school, Glascock County, plays at 8 p.m. Thursday night against Trion.
The GHSA state softball tournament is a double elimination tournament that runs from Thursday through Saturday.