Lady ‘Stangs face tough Pampa squad

Being the coach of the first Sweetwater High School softball team to win a play-off game may make him the answer to a trivia question some day.However, Tony Heredia is doing his best to put the Lady Mustangs’ 11-1 win over Pecos in the past and get his team ready to face a tough Pampa team in the Region I-3A area playoffs at 6 p.m. today at Lubbock’s Coronado High School.“We really haven’t even talked about it,” he said. “We’re proud of the fact we won a bi-district championship, but now we’re ready for the next challenge.”Pampa (21-8) figures to be a more challenging assign-ment than Pecos. The Lady Harvesters made the playoffs by winning the District 3-3A championhip, earning them a first-round bye. It was their fourth straight district title, and seventh in the last eight years.By contrast, Sweetwater (21-13) — despite setting a school record for wins and making the playoffs for the second straight year — has never won a district title.“The big thing (about Pampa) is they’ve got an established softball tradi-tion,” Heredia said. “They are very schooled in the game. They’re pretty solid.”But after winning by the 10-run rule last week, Heredia wants more.“I don’t think that we’ve played our best game yet,” he said. “I think we’ve got to play seven good innings. We’ve got to play one of our best games. At this point, we’re going to only be playing good teams, so we’ve got to be ready to play.”Today’s winner will face either Lubbock Cooper or Presidio in the I-3A regional quarterfinals.Sweetwater cruised past Pecos after scoring nine runs in the first inning on just three hits, including a two-RBI double by Alyssa Heredia — who is the daughter of the head coach — and a two-run single by Suede Shirley.Sweetwater hit .356 prior to the playoffs and .335 in district play. Outfielder Kelsi Crosson (.444), pitcher Maty Montgomery (.435) and second baseman Jerren Villa (.402) led the way with Megan Holsey (.386) and Shirley (.370) close behind. Sweetwater had several close games in district. The last three were all decided by one run, and five of their six wins were by four runs or less.“We want to have fun at this point of the season,” Heredia said. “We don’t want to press. But there’s no reason that we can’t be the team that comes out on top (tonight).”