By Doug Gorman
The Jonesboro Lady Cardinals softball team knows a thing or two about playing in the state tournament, and with good reason.
Jonesboro is on the verge of playing in its fourth straight state softball tournament starting Friday night as the state sectionals being at Lovejoy Park in Hampton.
The Lady Cardinals begin the double-elimination event against Forsyth Central in a game starting at 4 p.m.
The four-straight trips to the state tournament are a school record, and something head coach Jeanine Conkle takes pride in.
“It's great,” said Conkle. “The girls are excited, the parents are fired up, and I have a good feeling about Friday.”
Four members of this year's team have been with the squad since the start of the playoff run and are responsible for the team's success.
Pitcher Heather Lowry has been the team's starting pitcher for the past four years and has earned a Division I scholarship offer to Virginia Tech.
“I have been glad to do it (pitch so many games) because my teammates have been great,” Lowry said. “I don't go into a game saying I have to strike this many people out just to improve my stats. I just go out there for everybody, and I know all of us to.”
Kellsie Currin, moved over to the catcher's spot this year, and is also a four-year member of the team.
Currin took over for former All-Southern Crescent catcher Rachel Nutter, who graduated after catching Lowry for three seasons.
Moving over to catcher has been a smooth transition for Currin.
“I told coach you know what, wherever you need me is where I will play,” Currin said. “It's fun; Catching Heather is pretty easy, she doesn't make it hard at all.”
Heather McCarty and infielder Donisha Harrison have also been with the team for four years.
“I didn't know a whole lot about the softball team, but I love softball so I decided to try out, and I'm very excited that we have been to the state tournament for four years,” said McCarty.
Harrison agrees with McCarty.
“I'm excited about our team,” Harrison said. I love this team, everybody gets a long.”
That team unity has translated into a 17-3 overall record and a 13-0 mark in region play.
Nothing will change for Jonesboro now that the playoffs are about to get underway.
“It's going to come down pitching and timely hitting,” Conkle said.