PONTIAC, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — The Pontiac Indians are hoping for a repeat.
A repeat of last year’s run to the state softball tournament.
The Indians went on a run the final five weeks of the season last year and carried that momentum all the way to state. Can they do it again?
A slow start to the season has hampered Pontiac’s quest to return to state. The Indians (13-9) had dropped five of seven games heading into last weekend’s Washington Tournament.
That was the spot where Pontiac jump started its 2022 season, winning the tournament and going on a 19-3 run to the state tournament.
“The last month and a half doesn’t really mean anything,” Pontiac coach Nicole Hayner said about her team’s start. “This is about the turning point where we want to make that run. We are looking to improve and get better each game. That’s what we are doing. Last year we know this was our turning point coming back.”
The Indians won a pair of games in Washington before losing in the tournament semifinals. They’ve gone 2-1 since leaving Washington.
They think they can recapture the magic that took them to Peoria and fourth place finish in the class 2A state finals a year ago.
“Playing under control and keeping our composure was a big issue last year. Hopefully this year we can keep our composure. It’s a mental game, really,” said junior Bailey Masching. “I think we have a really good shot here , if we play under control and play like we know how. I think we can make it to where we were last year.”
Pontiac says it learned valuable lessons from the run to state last year that could carry over into the final month of this season.
“I think we are really pushing to get further than we were Last year. I think this is why we have so much pressure on us,” said senior Makayla Metz. “We are struggling a little bit. We’re finally getting out of that mental part and picking up ourselves right now.”