10th Ranked Darton State Embracing the National Challenge

On any given day at Darton State College, the sound of softballs sprayed across the Cavalier outfield can be heard all the way to Gillionville Road.

The ping of the Darton State bat is the constant beat that will drive the 2013 offense.

"(The offense) it's a lot better than last yearâ|just solid through and through. Our offense is going to set us apart this year," Darton State Catcher Holly Smith said.

"If someone doesn't do well, there's always going to be someone behind them to pick them up. It's very consistent," Pitcher Jenny Willis added.

With region titles and NJCAA World Series appearances, consistency defines the Lady Cavaliers program. Darton State opens the season ranked tenth in the nation and is embracing those lofty expectations.

"I don't shy away from it. I think our kids worked hard, so I'm not going to say our kids don't deserve it, but we keep it in perspective," Dews said.

After a dominant 47-12 record last season, the Lady Cavs surprisingly lost in the region tournament. Rather than looking back, the Darton State sophomores have taken matters in to their own hands.

"Just a lack of focus (last year). That's one thing we're trying to work on in practice this year is coming out focused. When we step through the gate- we focus. It's just all about the mental aspect of the game," Smith said.

"Just can't let it happen again this year. That was really tough and we're just ready to bounce back ten times harder this year," Willis said.