Spotting opponents to early leads is something Good Hope softball coach Amanda Swann has seen enough this postseason.

Since the Class 3A, Area 11 championship game at Danville two weeks ago, the Lady Raiders have staked their opponents to early leads in every game. But fortunately for Swann, her team has been able to battle back the majority of the time.

Even though Good Hope has been able to overcome early deficits en route to a berth in the second round of sub-state, Swann doesn’t know if she can handle many more dramatic comebacks. That’s why she’s challenged her team to jump out to an early lead in today’s sub-state matchup at Susan Moore.

“We’ve been giving up early leads a lot lately,” Swann said. “Even though we’ve been able to overcome them most of the time, I’d rather see us with the lead next time.”

Swann doesn’t think that her team likes playing from behind, but she has noticed that the Lady Raiders have appeared to play better softball when their backs are against the wall. But because Susan Moore has already beaten Good Hope twice this season, she thinks her team will already be playing with that “cornered” mindset.

“It’s obvious that these girls play better when they’re a little bit mad,” Swann said. “Hopefully they will already feel that way since Susan Moore has already beaten them in two close games. We’ve got a lot to play for and getting to the state tournament has been the goal for our team all season. There shouldn’t be any lack of focus in this series.”

According to Swann, one reason behind Good Hope’s early inning troubles this postseason could be partly due to nerves. But one point she’s tried to emphasize to her team is that the pressure isn’t on them this weekend.

“The pressures on Susan Moore because they’ve already beaten us twice,” she said. “We’ve got nothing to lose, and plus we’re playing a lot better softball now. I expect a great series.”

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