Bells just 1 step away from another state tournament berth

The Bells Lady Panthers roll into the regional finals needing two more wins to advance to their third consecutive state tournament.

The Lady Panthers have won back to back state championships at the class 2A level. This year, they moved up to 3A, and have not skipped a beat. Bells is 35-1 on the season. Their only loss came in the middle game of last week's series against Harmony. they responded with a 10-0 win in game 3 to advance.

"It's taught me that we can get through anything," 1st baseman Chesney Blound said. "I think if we play our best, there's not anything we can't overcome."

"It's always different moving up in classification. There's obviously more stress put on us," outfielder Bella Smith said. "But we do well under stress. It's no different than the past 2 years. We just have to take care of business."

"It would be so cool to go to state this year," shortstop Gabby Smith said. "I think it would be really cool because it would be the first time to get a 3-peat and we're moving up, so it would mean a lot more this year."

"These girls have really stepped up to the challenge," head coach Kristina Stephens said. "The biggest question this year would be, 'are we going to come up and compete?'. We always thought we would compete but we never dreamed that we would come this far and have done this well."

Two wins this week would put Bells in the state tournament again. They face Emory-Rains in a 3 game series that begins on Wednesday at McKinney Boyd High School.