Pack meets familiar foe in fourth roundPublished 7:54pm Monday, May 20, 2013
The Pam Pack advanced to the third round of the NCHSAA 3-A state playoffs with a little help from a late scouting report. That won’t be necessary in the fourth round as Washington will host Coastal Conference rival D.H. Conley tonight at 7 p.m.
“We know who we’re facing,” Washington coach Doug Whitehead said. “We don’t have to do much scouting. We got the book on them and they got the book on us.”
The Pam Pack has faced D.H. Conley twice this season, with both contests being decided by three runs or less. Their last meeting came on May 26 and wasn’t decided until Adriana Tyson blasted a two-run walk-off home run to give Washington a 7-5 win.
That victory was crucial as it helped the Pam Pack (20-4) earn the conference’s No. 2 seed, which affords Washington the home field advantage tonight against the No. 3 Vikings (19-5). (Admission to tonight’s game will be $5. Booster passes will not be permitted.)
While Tyson’s homer put the Pack over the edge, it was team defense that allowed it to win.
“The key thing is that you have to play outstanding defense against D.H. Conley,” Whitehead said. “They hit with power, they can bunt and they have speed. They have a good mix of everything.”
Aside from being well rounded, the Vikings are very clever, particularly on the base paths as coach Wayne Deans’ teams are known for capitalizing on the slightest of lapses.
“We emphasize (being alert on defense) every time we play them,” Whitehead said. “We tell them that you can never go to sleep or they will advance a base. We just can’t give D.H. Conley opportunities.”
The Vikings advanced to the fourth round having edged past Coastal Conference champions South Central in a 9-8 10-inning thriller on Friday.
The Pam Pack arrive at tonight’s matchup having topped West Brunswick 5-2 on the road.
The key for Washington so far during its playoff run has been a sturdy defensive effort combined with a potent lineup that has received major contributions from the bottom half of the order. It’s a trend that must continue tonight in order for Washington to advance to the East Regional round of the playoffs.
“The girls feed off of each other,” Whitehead said. “We rely on the top of the lineup but some nights you have a little slip and the top can’t do it. The other girls have been stepping up to the plate.”