Lanier County softball team focused on finishing the job this fall

Lanier County using last year as motivation to lead them to State
Published: Sep. 6, 2023 at 6:02 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 6, 2023 at 7:35 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Lanier County softball team cruised through last year’s double elimination state tournament, only to be upset in the state tile game. It’s a memory the Lady Dawgs would rather not have, but one that’s fueled them all offseason, and is their biggest motivator to finish the job this fall.

If the Lanier County softball program was hungry before, they are starving now.

”We need to come back as a team and fight back where we were,” said Jacie Faircloth.

”The focus of this season is to rebound back from what happened last season,” added teammate Jaycee Newsome.

What happened is what’s motivated the Lady Dawgs all season long.

”We can’t play scared, we have to play ready for the challenge every day to walk up,” said head coach Ben Davis.

A win away from a state championship, Lanier County was upset in the A Division II state tournament, losing twice to Emanuel County Institute to see their season end.

”That’s my motivation, to be back in Columbus,” said Faircloth.

”Using it as something to bounce back from and using it to push you harder to get where you can be stronger and better the next season really just pushed us better,” added Newsome

As the Lady Dawgs work towards that goal, they do so returning nearly every starter from last year’s team.

”There’s not a lot of rebuild, it’s kind of a reload,” said Davis. “We’ve had some key positions move in, younger girls hoping spots that are going to compete and get better and put us in the spot as the Lady Dogs this season to have us right back in there in Columbus competing for a final spot.”...

This team knows, the target is still on their backs, but it’s a pressure that motivates them even more.

”It’s exciting knowing all the talent we have on the team, knowing we can bounce back, get stronger, and learn from our mistakes from last season,” said Newsome.

”That’s really our big thing is trying to take us to that next step,” added Davis. “We’ve made it to the final four, we’ve made it to the state championship, what’s going to take us to be a program to win a state championship and bring that thing home.”...

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