Tuesday’s slate of softball games proved once again that in high school sports (and in sports on pretty much any level), a new season means a completely clean slate.
Coming into their road game against the Ball High Lady Tors, the Santa Fe Lady Indians’ softball program had a district winning streak of 52 games, dating back to 2014. That streak came to an end, as the Lady Tors handed Santa Fe a 6-2 defeat.
It was the first time Lady Tors head coach Courtney Phillips had beaten Santa Fe in her six years at Ball High, and the Lady Indians’ winning streak over Ball High likely goes well beyond that.
Elsewhere, a team that did not reach the playoffs last season recorded a run-rule win over a team that went two rounds deep into the postseason last year, as Clear Falls topped Friendswood.
All this just shows that nothing is guaranteed in any given season, regardless of past success or program prestige.
In Ball High’s win, an experienced and talented Lady Tors team was no longer intimidated by the district giants and 2011 state champion Santa Fe, which for the first time in nearly a decade don’t have an ace pitcher named Sunseri in the circle (Shelbi, 2014-2017; Ciara, 2010-13).
For Clear Falls, team chemistry has been paramount to the small, tight-knit roster’s early success. That, and a freshman phenom pitcher that has been a game changer for the Knights.
Too often, we sports guys (and I am sometimes guilty of this, as well) get in the habit of saying things like, “Oh, that team will win because they’re always good.”
But, the truth is that most teams have a good chance of surpassing teams that have traditionally been better than them in every given season. That’s part of what makes sports so much fun.