Van Trip: Lady Vandals Head To Austin

The Van Lady Vandals left for Austin bright and early Thursday morning. The softball team is making their second straight appearance in the state tournament.

It was an old fashioned East Texas send off. Some hugs, some dancing with just one wish.

"We're going to fight real hard to bring back a gold medal to Van this time," Coach Suzanne Braly said to the crowd.

"We have so much determination and heart and we knew that we wanted to go back again," said Cassie Wiggins, "because last year was such an experience and so it just drives us every year to try and go again and again. "

The Lady Vandals will have their ace, Cara Hulme. Sporting a black eye from a line drive, Cara said she is okay to play, and there was no way she would miss ending her senior season at state.

"It's kind of bitter sweet," Cara said.  "You know that this weekend no matter what it's your last weekend. But, I'm excited to be in Austin and I want to bring back the gold."

The Lady Vandals took along a few good luck charms like their lucky shoes.

"We wear them on game day," said catcher Shelby Harris. "We had to whip them out and use the power."

There is no way fans can miss those lucky Converse. They are a glowing, bright orange. The girls hope their neon sneakers help them against Clyde.

Van and Clyde have an early fight in the Class 3A semifinals. That game is Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. at Red and Charlene McCombs Field at the University of Texas at Austin.

Maya Golden reporting,