“It’s so exciting, they’re so excited, I’m so excited and the school is so excited,” Koopman said. “They are great kids and they deserve it, they deserve everything."
Seven Lakes needed a reset.
After losing their final two games of district play and dropping to the No. 3 seed, the Spartans came together and decided to start fresh, knowing that playoffs is a new season.
We just changed the mindset,” said Seven Lakes head coach Holly Koopman. “We all knew that we were a good team and that we could win against anybody, we just had to execute to do it. We went into practice this week and preached that, and while we didn’t execute every time, I think we had a much better approach.”
That approach led to success this week, as the Spartans beat Ridge Point in three games in their bi-district series, taking game three 6-1 after winning game one 1-0 and falling 2-1 in game two.
“With the amount of work we put up in practice this week I think we were ready to show up and prove what we can do,” said junior pitcher Amy Abke. “Our bats got hot today and it’s a great feeling. I’m really glad that we stepped up and are moving on.”
Abke led the way for the Spartans, as she pitched every inning of the series and had a tremendous performance in the third game, pitching a complete game and striking out eight while allowing one run on three hits.
“There’s no one like her, she’s just tremendous,” Koopman said. “She’s the real deal and we are lucky to have her.”
The Spartans started the game off by taking control in the top of the first, equaling their scoring output from their first two games with two runs on a Abke RBI triple and a Meghan Kelly RBI single.
Things stayed that way until the bottom of the fourth, when Ridge Point got one run back when Reagan Green hit a sacrifice fly.
Seven Lakes had the answer though and immediately answered back in the bottom of the inning with a Dulce Franco RBI double.
“It was a gamechanger to get those two runs in the first,” Kelly said. “We only scored one run in both of these past two games, so to have those two so quick was huge. Once we got those two runs, we knew that it was going to be a different kind of game today.”
The Spartans added an insurance run in the sixth, when Kelly scored on a passed ball and they scored twice more in the top of the seventh, getting a run off an error and then another on a Franco sacrifice fly. Abke then pitched a clean top of the seventh, getting a fly out, strikeout and ground out from the three batters she faced, as Seven Lakes clinched the win.
For this current group of Seven Lakes players, it’s the first time they have been out of the bi-district round.
“It’s so exciting, they’re so excited, I’m so excited and the school is so excited,” Koopman said. “They are great kids and they deserve it, they deserve everything and I’m just so excited for all of them to have this opportunity.”
Seven Lakes will play Jersey Village in the area round, date and times to be determined. The Falcons come off a sweep of Chavez in the bi-district round.
“We just need to keep the energy up and make sure we take every day in practice seriously,” Abke said. “We just have to keep hitting and as a team trust each other and stay aggressive. If we do that, I’m confident no matter who we play.”
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