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Tight-kint Comets ready for regional opener

Leadership is coming from a number of different places this season for the Halifax County High School varsity softball team, with the tight-knit Comets sporting a 21-1 record heading into today’s Northwest Regional quarterfinal game against C.D. Hylton.

Kate Bane, a senior first baseman for the Comets and Player of the Year for the Western Valley District, said she and her teammates still have goals remaining, despite winning the third of three district regular season and tournament titles recently.

“All of our teams have been close since I’ve been a Comet, but this year we’re sisters,” said Bane, a member of the varsity softball team since her sophomore year and a two-year starter at first base.

“We had a rough patch and got through that together and went positive instead of negative.

“That has made us closer than any other team, because we had a rough spot that made us better.”

The biggest “downer” for Bane and the Comets was a flat game at the plate and in the field against Cosby High School, Halifax County’s only loss of the season thus far.

“That’s what we focus on in practice, coming out of negative situations on a positive note,” explained Bane.

“We did bad against Cosby, but we bounced right back the next week against Franklin County.”

Her coaches are telling the team to stay focused and stay sharp in the off week before Monday’s game, Bane added.

“We have a week off, and we want to make sure we don’t get lazy and use this to our advantage.”

The returning players are helping their teammates prepare for regional play, what’s different about it and what different level of play the team will see, Bane explained.

“We have to keep doing what we’re doing, and we’re doing pretty well right now,” Bane said with a confident smile.

In a way, the loss to Cosby was a wakeup call, Bane noted.

“We needed that, and I read somewhere if you lose early in the season you can use that to get better.”

All it takes is one bad inning to put a team behind the proverbial eight ball in regional play, but Bane thinks she and her teammates have the confidence to come back the way they did against Franklin County in the district tournament title game.

“We’re going to have errors and bad innings, but we’re going to move forward in the next inning,” said Bane.

One of several senior captains, Bane knows what’s in front of the Comets the rest of the way.

“We’re not new to it, and we know what’s coming this year,” she explained.  “We’re a family and everyone may be as talented as we are in regionals and state, but no one is as close as we are.”

Bane, also winner of the prestigious Principal’s Award at the high school, has been a leader in a number of different ways, according to Comets Head Softball Coach Melanie Saunders.

“Kate has been a great asset to our program. She is what we call a quiet storm. She makes plays that make the rest of our team look good,” Saunders pointed out.

“She gets on base about every game, and she helps to keep us up and focused in and out of the dugout.”