Daggett, Fortenbery enter final seriesPublished 12:01am Thursday, May 17, 2012
NATCHEZ — Beth Fortenbery and Ginny Daggett only have one more softball series left to play together.
Since it’s the state championship series, though, the two Cathedral High School seniors have a chance to make their final memories special.
Fortenbery and Daggett will suit up one more time for the Lady Green Wave Friday and Saturday against Smithville High School in Ridgeland. For two girls that have played together since tee ball, the experience is truly once-in-a-lifetime.
“It still hasn’t hit me yet,” Daggett said. “I know I’m going (to state), but this is mine and Beth’s one-time shot.”
Daggett, a pitcher and infielder, said she’s enjoyed playing with Fortenbery almost her entire life, and she’s hoping to make the most of her final high school games.
“I definitely remember everything as kids,” Daggett said. “We’ve always been there for each other, and we know how much we’ve overcome as players.”
Fortenbery, an infielder, said there’s been a bonding of sorts between the two that allows them to be comfortable with one another on the field.
“I guess it’s mainly just trust,” Fortenbery said. “We know our strengths and weaknesses and how each other works.”
Fortenbery said she tried to curb her enthusiasm about winning state until after the South State series with Nanih Waiya High School was over Monday. But she admitted during Game 3 that the excitement started to fester.
“I never wanted to be too confident, because I didn’t want them to come back and beat us, but once we got into the sixth inning (of Game 3), I felt like, we’ve got this,” Fortenbery said.
“It’s a feeling I’ve never experienced in a high school sport.”
As the squad’s lone seniors, both Fortenbery and Daggett said they understood the importance of showing leadership on and off the field.
“Being a senior, everyone looks up to you and how you carry yourself,” Fortenbery said.
Daggett said her mother made sure to remind her of showing leadership.
“She was telling me at the beginning of the year how the younger players would be looking up to me and Beth,” Daggett said. “I knew I had to be a good role model.”
The chance to play in a state championship is very special for Daggett, she said. The only thing that would make it even better would be to play with her sister, Betsy, who graduated from Cathedral two years ago.
“I’d love to share state or anything with Betsy,” Daggett said. “It’s awesome enough as it is, but that would make it that much better.”
If there’s one thing she can pinpoint about why this team is so special, Daggett said the Lady Green Wave’s team chemistry is what allowed them to get this far.
“I think (chemistry) is really important,” Daggett said. “You look at all the teams that are mean to each other, and they can’t really bond.”
Daggett said she saw that firsthand in the South State series, when she said the Nanih Waiya players would yell at each other.
“We would never speak to each other that way,” Daggett said. “We all get along, and we all have our little inside jokes.”
With just one series left, Fortenbery said both her goal and Daggett’s was to give it all they’ve got and go out on top.
“I don’t want to come out of it saying, ‘What could I have done differently?’” Fortenbery said. “I can’t go back to high school. This is it.”