By Jon Gerardi
The Daily Item
BLOOMSBURG -- During practice on Tuesday, Halifax coach Tracy Cox had her Wildcats preparing for various game situations. As pitcher Chelsea Konyar stated, it's simply called "seven innings."
"We go into game-mode and prepare ourselves. We have runners (on), so it's like a real game and we always make sure we have no errors because we know errors will definitely turn into runs," the Mercy-bound Wildcat said.
For Halifax's sake, that practice hopefully has the Wildcats in pristine condition today, because their next opponent will easily be one of the toughest they've seen.
Halifax, which won its first District 3 title since 2002, plays District 11 champion Minersville at Bloomsburg University today in the PIAA Class A quarterfinals. It's also Halifax's first appearance in the PIAA quarterfinals since 2002.
"(The practice) helps on our mental game because softball is 90 percent mental," Konyar said. "If we get down a run and if we get an error, we know we have to shake it off and get the next one."
The Miners have an extremely potent offense. All nine of Minersville's batters are hitting at least .333 on the year, with leadoff hitter Reighly Melochick batting .527 and freshman Adrienne Kroznuskie hitting .617 with nine home runs and 35 RBIs.
However, Cox cited Halifax's defense as their strongest suit.
"They have a winning attitude, they want to win. They go out and get what they have to do to win. I told them at practice that our bread and butter's our defense. The runs will come, (just) put the ball in play," Cox said. "We're not the best hitters in the world, but if we stop the other team and do what we do, we'll put a couple of runs on the board and our defense will stop the other team.