LYNCHBURG, Va. - Lynchburg is returning to the Super Regionals of the NCAA DIII Softball Tournament for the first time since 2008, exceeding the teams expectations this season.
"I think our expectations all along was to work hard, be good teammates and give the best that you can," said head coach Dawn Simmons.
"We really have meshed as a team this year, and that's something we haven't had in the past years," said Hornets third baseman Taylor Mabry.
"We have had really good chemistry, and we expected very good things, but I don't think any of us expected to be at this point, so it's kind of surreal."
Led by veteran coach Dawn Simmons and four seniors, the Hornets knocked off two-time defending national champion Virginia Wesleyan over the weekend. In the process they helped coach Simmons surpass 600 victories.
"I think it was just the grit and determination this team had, and we talked about it all along if they put their minds to something there is nothing I feel like they can't accomplish," Simmons said.
Plenty of local talent make up the Hornets nest, including Ferrum native Mackenzie Chitwood, who was the most outstanding player in the regional round, as well as Taylor Mabry, who was named to the Regional All-Tournament team. Lynchburg is excited for the opportunity ahead, so they have no plans to let complacency sink in.
"Throughout the season we've been good about wiping away losses we shouldn't have had and any wins that have really made us overecstatic and just like the past weekend so I think we're going to stay humble," Chitwood said.
Game 1 is Friday at 2 p.m. at Moon Field on the campus of the University of Lynchburg.
Game 2 will be Saturday at 2 p.m. at Moon Field, with game 3 (if necessary) to follow.
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