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Eagles turn focus to region softball tournament
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As the regular season winds down, the Eastside High School softball team finds itself in an ideal position heading into the softball region tournament.

With a flawless region record, the Eagles will be the No. 1 seed taking on No. 4 seed Luella High School, which the Eagles defeated 12-0 on Tuesday.

With a 16-8 overall record, and an 11-0 record in Region 4-AAAA, the Eagles have captured several easy wins throughout the season, shutting out their opponents 10 times. They also grabbed some pretty notable wins, including two over No. 2 seed Woodward Academy (9-6, 8-0).

According to Eastside coach Heather Wood, the team is ready to play some games that count.

“I think right now, at this point in our season, we’re ready for playoffs,” she said. “We’re ready to get through with our regular season and get into the postseason. We’re still taking it one game at a time, but I definitely think that we’re going to be mentally ready for that time of year and that point of our postseason.”

There are several bright spots in the Eagles lineup. Senior Ally Allgood leads the team with 32 runs, 38 hits and a .528 batting average. Right behind her is Ashleigh Williams with 28 runs, 27 hits and a .493 batting average. McKenzie Walker leads Eastside with 27 RBIs, while Alysee Dobbs has recorded 127 putouts.

The team as a whole has only allowed 53 runs from its opponents while scoring 195 and is currently on a five-game winning streak. While the Eagles may have no trouble winning the region, the tournament still has some importance in determining the outcome of the rest of their postseason.

“The big thing for us is to win the region tournament just so that we’re in a position going into our playoffs,” Wood said. “It’s important for us to get that No. 1 seed, that way we play the No. 4 seed from Region 2. So it’s crucial, not only because of course we want to win region, but it’s also most importantly getting us in a good position for the next round of playoffs.”

Eastside has worked hard all season on staying focused for a full seven innings in each game, hitting and being smart at the plate. When asked about their thoughts of the season thus far, Williams praised her team’s efforts, while Moon says they have a chance to “get ahead quickly” in the postseason.

“I thought we worked really hard to make sure that have that No. 1 spot in region that will put us in a good position for state playoffs and hopefully push us to the second round and further to go to [the state championship in] Columbus,” said Williams.

Though the Eagles have dominated the majority of their opponents up to this point, they are preparing to face much tougher competition going forward.

“I expect a lot more competition than we have been seeing,” said Coley Edwards. “I know that teams get better as the season goes on, and most of the time we played the harder teams in the early season. I’m excited to see some real competition.”

The Region 4-AAAA tournament will kick off Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 5 p.m. against the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds Woodward Academy and Salem, while No. 1 Eastside will face No. 4 Luella at 7 p.m. at home. The losers of each game will face off on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 5 p.m. in Game 3, followed by Game 4 between the winners at 7 p.m.

The winner of Game 4 will be the No. 1 seed heading into the state tournament, while the loser will be No. 2.