LOCK HAVEN - You don't have to tell Dave Peters about second chances.
The Central Mountain girls' softball coach feels his team got theirs recently.
The Lady Wildcats have had a brutal schedule, one that makes even the casual fan cringe.
Central Mountain’s Morgan Kunes stretches out for the ball as a DuBois runner crosses first base in the annual Thunder on the Mountain tournament. CM?travels to DuBois today, starting the District 6-9 Class AAAA postseason
The Mountain League games. Non-conference dates with Jersey Shore, DuBois, Mifflin County and Williamsport.
"It's a grind, and we knew that," he said. "The Mountain League is the quality of Pennsylvania in my opinion. I don't see a better league up and down. Our teams near the bottom of the conference go out in non-league play and handle the top teams there. And that speaks to the quality of this league."
Today, Central Mountain enters the postseason with a 9-11 record - good enough for the third seed in the Districts 6-9 Class AAAA semifinals as the locals head to DuBois for a first pitch set for 4 p.m.
Forget the record.
No doubt, the girls are probably one of the most dangerous 9-11 teams in the state.
And again, no doubt, good enough to win this district title.
"We came together as a team, and we've learned as we've gone along," junior first baseman Morgan Kunes said. "You learn a lot with the ups and downs as you progress down the road and throughout the season. We know that we can beat everyone, and we feel like we could. Right now, we just have to focus on our team, and see what happens."
Kunes brings up a good point.
Central Mountain beat DuBois twice during the regular season; one an eight-run inning in the Thunder on the Mountain tournament, while the other coming at DuBois.
The Lady Wildcats also beat Mifflin County once. The Lady Huskies are the No. 1 seed.
"We didn't start off too well. We've been progressing," Kunes said. "Right now, our attitude is we are going to play hard, and hopefully, we'll be able to go a long way."
Expectations were high as the 2012 season began.
So many three-year starters returning back to the diamond.
Experience at almost every spot in the order.
Yet, that daunting schedule.
At least seven losses were by one or two runs.
Unfortunate bounces went the opposite way. Lady Luck certainly appeared against the local girls for some reason.
"We didn't perform the way we are capable of during the regular season," the manager said. "The results weren't there for us, and the wins and losses certainly show that. Our goal was to get in the playoffs, and we've made it there. Teams have shown in the past that it really doesn't matter what your record is when you enter, it's what you do when you get there.
"Every one of our losses, those teams have made the playoffs. We know we played a tough schedule, and we had an opportunity to win some of those games. We made some mistakes at times and some times occurred that weren't in our favor. That's the game, and we have to move on from that. We have to keep our eye on us, and just focus on the stuff we can control."
Call this one new life, if you will.
Questions about postseason life have been answered.
The regular season is all in the past now.
The only record that really matters is 0-0. And it's a one-game season from here on out.
"The difficult part is we weren't sure if we were even going to make playoffs. There was some mystery to that," Peters said. "What that did was allow us to regroup and refocus as to where we were at. I'm hoping the things we've been doing lately transfers into this game and gets us some momentum.
"On our end, from a coaching standpoint, we've tried to be patient and give people some opportunities, but now, it's about quicker decisions. And that's everywhere. Quicker decisions on the mound, quicker decisions if someone is struggling some at the plate and quicker decisions with our rotation. We've done that in the past few games, and we had some players take advantage of those opportunities."