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Van softball reaching for history

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With 13 consecutive trips to the state playoffs, Van softball is no stranger to success.  The Lady Vandals are strangers to Austin.
Van's last trip to the state tournament was 2006.  No Lady Vandals team has ever finished No. 1.

"I've thought about it," said Van senior Nicole Gandy.  "It would be an honor to take home the state championship."

The Lady Vandals are taking it one game at a time.  But coach Craig Ham has no problem with his players dreaming big.

"You want to reach for something great and they do," said Ham.

The Lady Vandals believe they can finish No. 1, because no one player is the key to team success.

"We haven't depended on any one person throughout the whole playoffs," said Ham.  "It's been someone different coming through at different key times."

Van senior catcher Haleigh Moore believes the Lady Vandals lineup is unstoppable.

"Anybody in our lineup has the ability to hit it out of the park," said Moore.  "That's what's so special about our team. We have so much to offer."

In the regional semifinal the Lady Vandals vandalized Celina pitching. scoring 29 runs, in their two wins.
Van has scored at least 12 runs, three times in the playoffs. 

"A win is a win but it feels ten times better when you win by ten," said Moore.

When tough pitching has kept scoring down, someone in the lineup pulls through with a big hit.

"We all feed off each other," said Gandy.  "Hitting is contagious."

No one's being greedy. If it takes ten runs or just one, the Lady Vandals hope a state championship is in their future.

"I think it would mean the world," said Van senior shortstop Ashlin Lovett.  "My mom was talking about it today. It doesn't matter how many years go by, they'll always remember going to state and definitely winning state. It will be everywhere."

Van will play Atlanta in the regional finals beginning Thursday at Northeast Texas Community College in Mt. Pleasant.

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