ROUND ROCK (KXAN) — It’s easy to smile when you’re the number one team in the country, but the Cedar Ridge softball team makes it a priority to keep things upbeat.
Ranked as the top team in the state of Texas by the Texas Girls Coaches Association poll, Cedar Ridge faces Conroe Oak Ridge in their second round series of the UIL 6A State Playoffs.
The Raiders are trying to keep this dream season going all the way to state by staying close together.
“We’re all like funny with each other and we laugh and we have team dinners together and it’s just a lot of fun and we get to know each other better,” senior pitcher Tori McCann said.
The handshakes and dances are unique to softball, a sport that embraces mixing fun and competition.
“You watch even now, NCAA, they’re still all throwing deuces to the crowd or whatever it is, it keeps it light, keeps them engaged with each other,” Raiders head coach Jessica Poole said.
The team says this approach has made quite the difference.
“It’s been really incredible to see how far we’ve come since last year and how close we are this year,” sophomore catcher Lilly Moron said.
“It’s like an ease on the mound where I know I can make a mistake and I know all of the girls behind me have my back so we can all tell each other you did that wrong, or that was a great play good job,” McCann said.
As they continue their march through the playoffs, the Raiders are determined to stay focused even when they face some adversity.
“We know right now, we’re one of 64 and we’re all fighting for the same thing,” Coach Poole said.
“It’s all going to be hard, but we just need to not get hard on each other and ourselves, keep it positive,” Moron said.
Cedar Ridge hopes they can stay all smiles through the next five rounds.