Last winter, the Liberty Arena became home without beds.
South Williamsport softball players were there nightly. South plays Bald Eagle Area in the Class AA state playoffs at Central Mountain today after grinding since January.
All those evenings at Liberty Arena explain how South got here. The state has many strong teams, including this one. That work made South one of the state’s top four Class AA teams. This group is defined by hard labor, not awards.
We lived there. Right fielder Sage Lorson stated it prepared us well. “This team works hard. Everyone works hard to bring us here.”
It has. Glory costs labour, sweat, and sacrifice. These Mounties give those out daily like Halloween candy.
South repeated as District 4 winners, defeated three tough district playoff opponents, and reached the Final 4 for the first time since 2004. All of it depends on the effort done while no one is looking.
“It’s all paying off,” third baseman Kendall Cardone said. “I think everyone wanted to work hard to get here.”
South’s offseason training were voluntary. They drove the desire train. They may have taken evenings off or sought other alternatives.
These employees embrace the grind. They want attendance. They love playing and want to improve.
Determined and passionate people may run like South. Last year, the Mounties won their first district title since 2014 and reached the state quarterfinals. That just made this squad hungrier, which persists.
“Seeing how far we got last year, we knew we just have to work that much harder to get even a little bit farther,” Lorson said.
The Mounties are doing it.
“We were always there,” first baseman Abby Lorson said. “I’m grateful we didn’t have an off day because it helped us.”
South defeated Newport and Bristol to face BEA today. Both triumphs were thrilling, but the concentration remained. South resumed its mission on Friday.
South stays in as opponents get stronger. South never quits, regardless matter the score. Thus, the Mounties are ready for each game.
These players have company. They realize coaches work hard too. Head coach Tom O’Malley played in the Majors before becoming a Japanese Baseball League MVP. Each assistant excelled academically and athletically.
They didn’t miss either. They desire this. O’Malley called them old-fashioned. “The team too. They support each other yet want to go further and push each other in the right way.”
All players are gatekeepers in competitive practices. She’ll tell players if they’re distracted. Each wants to play on game day and tries to outdo the other.
When players push each other and bring forth their best, the team wins. All that effort has advanced South.
Few get to play in games like today. Practice pays off. South worked hard for this.
They’re positive. “These girls push each other in a good way,” O’Malley added. “They always support each other and try to maximize their teammates. That’s significant.”