MERRYVILLE, LA (KPLC) - “We were struggling. It took us a little while to regroup but once we regrouped we came out fighting and they’ve been fighting ever since," said Merryville head coach Ryan Stark.
It's that fight that has led the Merryville softball team to the quarterfinal round for the first time in 13 seasons. A fight that has been based around faith.
“It’s something we prayed for and worked for every day,” said senior Kamryn Mouton.
Second baseman Kamryn Mouton had to take a leap of faith of her own. After growing up in Sulphur, Mouton made the move north to the small town of Merryville.
“I didn’t know what to do, coming from a thousand people to 500 people in one school I was freaking out," Mouton admitted. "Eventually, they just brought me in and made me feel at home. They’re my best friends.”
Mouton is the lone senior on the Lady Panther squad and her play on the field reflects her senior leadership.
“She’s one of those joy to coach players," Stark explained. "It doesn’t matter what I ask her to do, she’s going to hustle, give me every bit of effort she has, and she’s going to leave it all on the field on gameday.”
“She’s really supportive," freshman catcher Harleigh Ferguson said.
“Her new thing is no hurt just work and I love when she says that it just brings me up spiritually and I realize that I got it,” said freshman pitcher Mackenzie Samuel.
And it’ll take work to give the 11-seeded Lady Panthers a shot to take down three-seed Montgomery and put them closer to hoisting a state championship trophy for the first time since 2005.
“It’d be huge for this team to make it that far at this young of an age," said Stark. "One senior, no juniors, two sophomores, and seven freshmen. It would just give them so much confidence for the future that it would be priceless.”